what would henry do?


Record shopping yesterday, I finally found an album I’ve been looking for: The Hissing of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell. It was released in 1975, right after what has over the years become my all-time favorite record, 1974’s Court and Spark. If Court and Spark is my water, a daily, life-giving necessity that I can’t live without, then Hissing is my homemade unsweetened iced tea; bitter, bracing, and mildly uncomfortable, yet just as necessary as its sweeter cousin.  As Pitchfork said it in its review of Mitchell’s studio albums from 1968-1979, “the era of Mitchell doing no wrong was over.” This is a more difficult listen than Ladies of the Canyon, Blue, or Court and Spark. The jazz influences are still there, but her lyrical hieroglyphics are denser and more inscrutable. I’ve listened to the album on CD and Spotify over the years, but I’ve never owned…

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