Tuesday, 18 September 2007

To the cash registers!

Joni Mitchell reportedly has a new album, Shine, the first new material since about 1978 1998, on sale from the end of the week, whenever that is. WTF? Friday? Saturday? How're you supposed to know? My weeks don't end at all, they just keep coming!

I know, look it up ... wait a minute! Her own website says September 25! That's not the end of the week! That's well into next week!

Okay look, Charlie Brown, at least there's still time to find a way of getting someone to pay you for buying it.

Edited to add: Should you happen to go to the above-linkified website, pleasepleaseplease don't bother clicking on Herbie Hancock's so-called tribute. An album of ten covers of Joni Mitchell songs, it features six with vocals by artists such as Corinne Bailey Rae, Tina Turner (no really) and Leonard Cohen. And Ms. Mitchell herself.

It could not be more awful if Mr Hancock had set out to make an album called Ten Dreadful Travesties Concocted in an Effort to Blacken the Name of Joni Mitchell for All Generations, Now with Added Insufferability and Reinforced Shiteness!

It's true that JM has long had jazz leanings, and latterly, her voice become more adapted to the genre, has begun singing her own sings in more of a jazz stylee. But that's no reason for Herbie to overlay her words (sometimes) and melodies (barely) with all the upturned contents of his jazzman's Bagge of Tryckes: incessant and overpowering brushwork on the drums that sounds synthesised to me; tootling soprano sax at all opportunities; a voice track way down in the mix on a level with the other instruments, as if she weren't quitessentially a solo singer, and at no time in her life a member of an ensemble.

Hancock has failed to grasp anything about Joni other than the fact that her chord progressions and modulations were sometimes inspired by jazz musicians she'd heard (and as often not). He takes her to be one of them, when she's so much more. His choice of singers is either outrageous (Tina fucking Turner!) or boring (Luciana Souza should change her name to Snouza). He has no idea how to produce singers, anyway. And WTF are four instrumentals doing on a Joni Mitchell album?

Obviously, it's linked on her website because she gets a share of all the moolah he makes in sales. She's intimately linked to it in some way.

You're not. Steer clear of it at all costs.