MUSIC: A Deeper Shade of Blue

Joni Mitchell's new album covers a wide emotional spectrum

IT HAS BEEN 23 YEARS since Joni Mitchell released Blue, a lapidary album that used vivid poetry and sun-washed melodies to enrich the palette of contemporary folk music. Now and then, over time, Mitchell's commercial fortunes have stalled, but her determination has never wavered. Her forays into jazz (Mingus, The Hissing of Summer Lawns) cost her some fans but cemented her reputation as a provocative innovator, and by 1985 her lyrics had taken on an increasingly political bite.

Turbulent Indigo, her first album in three years, is steeped in an even deeper shade of Blue. The hallmarks of Mitchell's signature sound...

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