Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Taming the Tiger
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Following the Grammy triumph of Turbulent Indigo by four years, Joni Mitchell rewards our wait with an album that's even better. Taming the Tiger finds Mitchell playing her guitar through a Roland VG8, adding fresh texture... more »
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Following the Grammy triumph of Turbulent Indigo by four years, Joni Mitchell rewards our wait with an album that's even better. Taming the Tiger finds Mitchell playing her guitar through a Roland VG8, adding fresh texture to her continuing musical association with Wayne Shorter's sax and the rhythm section of Larry Klein and Brian Blade. "Happiness is the best facelift" is the line you'll hear quoted, but it isn't truly representative. Song painter Joni knows that light creates infinite gradations of shadow, and this is as varied a collection as she's given us. "Love has many faces," she sings in "Love Puts on a New Face"; and her portraits of longing ("Man from Mars"), abandon ("Crazy Cries of Love"), and quiet fury ("No Apologies") are exquisite. --Ben Edmonds
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Member CD Reviews
David N. (ilikeallmusic) from GADSDEN, AL
Reviewed on 3/4/2007...
Just like new, with all artwork and booklet
0 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.
A gentle, hypnotic and mature work from Joni Mitchell
Mark Hickman | Atlanta, Ga | 03/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having listened to all of Joni Mitchell's music avidly throughout the years, I began to think that there was little further she could do to challenge the listener with new ideas and sounds. As the 80's moved into the 90's her offerings were increasingly sparse and with albums like "Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm" and "Night Ride Home"...a bit disapppointing.I am here to say that those who have panned "Taming the Tiger" or who are somewhat bored by these gently rolling guitar tracks have truly missed something here. "Taming the Tiger" is quite simply wonderous and breathtaking in every respect. A lovely recording.Joni keeps her voice in the lowest registers here most of the time. The tracks weave in and out of one another effortlessly, with Joni in careful control of the ever-present soft, textural and gently rolling sound. Track for track, this is a project that is every bit as consistent and unique musically and lyrically as "Hejira" was in the mid-70s."Stay in Touch" is a standout both in its arrangement and performance...a knockout song! Songs like "Happiness is the Best Facelift" remind the listener of earlier projects like "For the Roses" in the early 70's. The songs all have the same gentle arrangements and most have truly wonderful melodies. Joni's vocals are huskier in recent years, but here this only adds to the intrigue and maturity of this truly visionary work.If you haven't heard "Taming the Tiger", please listen, if you have heard it and did not have patience with it...please take a second listen. I have never put it on the shelf for long and will always come back to it. Beautiful!"
Mitchell's "Tiger" a bit too tame
John Jones | Chicago IL | 02/17/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"We come to expect much from legends...maybe too much. After all, when you write some of the most socially-conscious and emotionally intimate music of the last thirty-some years, how do you top yourself? Hell, how do you even match yourself? It's a task Joni Mitchell both stumbles and succeeds with on "Taming the Tiger."Things get off to an intriguing start with the spookily atmospheric "Harlem in Havana," with distorted keyboards and a fluttering soprano sax drawing you in to a charming tale of a couple of suburban innocents attending a racy street fair. Unfortunately the next track disappoints: fans were no doubt eager to hear Joni's own rendition of "Man from Mars," which Joni wrote for the film "Grace of My Heart" but was recorded by vocalist Kristen Vigard for the soundtrack. Vigard's rendition had all the elements of classic Joni: acoustic piano, multiple self-harmonies, etc. But apparently Joni wanted to make sure her own version was distinguishable enough, so she opted for awkward keyboards and no harmonies whatsoever, resulting in the rare occasion that someone else did a better Joni Mitchell record than Mitchell herself.The ballad "Love Puts on a New Face" is a lovely work that ranks among her best compositions; Mitchell gently cooing "love has many faces" over sax and steel guitar flourishes makes for as warm and intimate a moment as she has ever offered. "Lead Balloon" adds a jolting dose of rock with a killer hook; it's definitely a risk that pays off, even if the out-of-place saxophone should have been omitted (Wayne Shorter is brilliant, yes, but doesn't belong on a rock song).The lyrical inconsistencies of "No Apologies," which has Mitchell telling a tale of an overseas military scandal in the first verse and then singing of "lawyers and loan sharks laying America to waste" in the chorus make the cut hard to follow and best avoided. But even worse is when the distinction between songs begins to blur: playing through a Roland VG8 adds a hypnotic dimension to her guitar stylings, but using the same effect and keyboard voices on "Stay in Touch," "Face Lift," and the title track make the songs practically identical; worse yet is that they're all in the same key signature and end up taking distinctly different lyrics and putting them to nearly-identical musical backdrops. At least "The Crazy Cries of Love" features some drumming to add a touch of variety, but the others end up sounding like lazy arrangements from someone who is known for the attention she pays to detail where her work is involved. Bitter lyrics on the title track about the state of contemporary music don't help things; true, pop music is often for a less sophisticated audience, but lyrics like "genuine junk food for juveniles" come off as pretentious and arrogant.Still, this isn't to say "Tiger" isn't a worthwhile purchase...after all, CD players have a Random Play feature for a reason, and this is just as good a candidate as any; separating the tracks certainly help the appreciation process. And even the songs with arrangement and production troubles still have lyrics that deserve to be heard (particularly the touching you-and-I-against-the-world love story of "Face Lift"). But it isn't an easy listen, and while you're bound to find moments to treasure, "Taming the Tiger" will require some clawing through."