Joni Mitchell
Night Ride Home

CD (March 5, 1991)
Original Release Date: March 5, 1991
Label: Geffen Records
Reviewer: Matt Marx from Mount Kisco, NY USA
Upon hearing the name "Joni Mitchell", the everyday joe thinks back to the early and mid-1970's, when breakthrough albums like Blue and Court And Spark nearly made her a household name in the music industry. What the everyday joe doesn't know, however, is that one of her most flavorful and deep albums to date was recorded far after her heyday. When the 1990's were drawing their infant breaths, under the grunge and teen-pop, Night Ride Home was released.

Joni's voice had gotten deeper along with her music. The now sharp and enigmatic singing blended with the haunting and mysterious guitar work, a far cry from the blissful and soaring songs she had written over 15 years earlier. The opening track, "Night Ride Home", is a swayable sensation written about a colorful 4th of July twilight (elaborated by crickets chirping in the background).

The title track is followed by the sophisticated "Passion Play", and the spine-chilling story of "Cherokee Louise". "The Windfall" and "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" are powerful, edgily-spoken songs that dive as dark as folk music can go.

"Come In From The Cold" is one of the album's most defining moments. The 7-minute opus is full to the brim of full-bodied acoustic guitar, soft percussion, and Joni's voice as powerful and radiant as ever. The song serves a story, with spellbinding lyrics ("We had hope, the world had promise for a slave to liberty. Freely, I slaved away for something better, and I was bought and sold. And all I ever wanted was to come in from the cold.")

The album concludes with four more tracks of the album's signature huskiness. Fans of Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley, and even softer Neil Young will be put in a trance by the subtle mystery this album has to offer. This album is extremely dark, but by no means dismal.

With complex acoustic guitarwork and a sheer, emotional palate of lyrics and vocals to sing them, Night Ride home is essential for any Joni Mitchell fan, and those who enjoy the darker , huskier side of folk (a la Neil Young's 1992 Harvest Moon album). Hear the work of a true legend.

1. Night Ride Home
2. Passion Play (When All The Slaves Are Free)
3. Cherokee Louise
4. The Windfall (Everything For Nothing)
5. Slouching Towards Bethlehem
6. Come In From The Cold
7. Nothing Can Be Done
8. The Only Joy In Town
9. Ray's Dad's Cadillac
10. Two Grey Rooms