Ed D. (edavis31) from CHARLOTTE, NC Reviewed on 6/4/2007...
I like listening to this CD when I'm working. Most of the songs have a continuous rhythm that flows and stimulates while at the same time they have melodies that are soothing. My favorite tracks are Cherokee Louise, Come in from the Cold, The Only Joy in Town and Ray's Dad's Cadillac.
A 'return' to center for Joni
firstname.lastname@example.org | New York City | 04/30/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Historically, "Night Ride Home" has been called Joni Mitchell's return to form. It was her first album in the 90's and the aural atmosphere surrounding the songs seemed like a welcome relief from her turgid 80's material. I have been and remain an avid fan; even so, "Dog Eat Dog" and "Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm" are not particularly favorite's of mine. So when "Night Ride Home" appeared it seemed as if Joni (and Larry, of course) had begun to feel that an uncluttered approach to her music was best. And they were right! "Night Ride Home" is just another example of Mitchell's stunning range as songwriter, guitar player and singer. The title track is a lovely ballad, all the more enjoyable since it reflects on a small cherished moment between Joni and Larry. Her reworking of Yeates' "Slouching Toward Bethlehem" is terrific: her plaintive guitar work is surrounded by thunderous percussion and siren wails. It's sense of the coming 'revelation' is ominous. And who -- but Joni Mitchell -- would have the nerve (and good sense) to change Yeates' original text? "Come In From the Cold" offers Joni's slightly middle-aged perspective on romance & relationships. Gone is the doomed folkie from "Blue" which kind of cast her as the "Sarah Bernhardt" of the '70s; now she assumes a more mature and realistic (while not overtly cheery) stance on matters of the heart. Two songs regarding Joni's childhood also appear: "Cherokee Louise" recounts the story of a sexually abused girlfriend while "Ray's Dad's Cadillac" concerns itself with slightly less weighty matters (a la "In France They Kiss On Main Street"). Ironically, despite "Cherokee Louise"'s repugnant theme, Mitchell's guitar work and percussion make the song a toe-tapper. "Night Ride Home" laid the groundwork for Mitchell's next masterpiece, "Turbulent Indigo". It is a fine collection of songs from a true master: strong, vibrant and immensely enjoyable."
A CLASSIC FROM THE EARLY 90's....
J. Bilby | Kingston, New Hampshire United States | 07/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Its great to see several cuts from NIGHT RIDE HOME featured on Joni's
new look back, "THE BEGINNING OF SURVIVAL", (being released
July 27th) . Although "Turbulent
Indigo" received the Grammy and basically took its
blue print from "NIGHT RIDE HOME", I really felt the warmth
and devotion return with NRH, something I had missed from Joni's works over the years after Mingus. Although I really enjoyed Turbulent Indigo,
Night Ride Home is special, moody, sad at times but it
shows the real Joni Mitchell that overproduction sometimes
hit with its colder touches(during the 80's). I still listened to everything Joni put
out but this underappreciated collection of songs hit me just at a time
in my life where I was reflecting about life and this music
from Joni really touched me. She's deeply spiritual, always
seeking answers yet always asking questions in her songs. I have listened to this over and over since its 1991 release
and it still one of many Joni Mitchell classic favorites."
Vivid musical genius.
Matt Marx | Mount Kisco, NY USA | 05/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
A Fabulous Return To Form By Miss Joni!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 02/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No one made more impact on the sixties and early seventies folk-rock scene with her deeply personal songs than Joni Mitchell. So, when she returned to the same style and presentation after a long absence in the early nineties with this album, it certainly galvanized our collective consciousness by provocatively presenting a number of songs that are both representative of and yet quite superior to a lot of what she had done before. Here Joni presents a song writing that is both mature and serious, and yet showing her mischievous side with a few songs like "Come In From The Cold", which is probably the most accomplished and popular of the tunes collected here. Yet we linger over other songs as well, such as the title cut of "Night Ride Home", which is a memorable glimpse into her private and personal world with her husband in some moments alone out on the road. A lot of similar cues to her aversion to being a public personality are here; the hope for quiet, the reference of "no phones till Friday", etc. So, while this is no outrageously autobiographical tour of the state of her psyche as some previous albums had been, it does represent a return to her habit of speaking loudly and clearly about a number of personal and social issues she has in mind. Another memorable effort is "Passion Play", with its provocative verses and interesting arrangement, and one must mention a quite lovely "Nothing Can be Done". All of the songs make for a worthwhile listening experience. Of course, no one as observant and perceptive as Mitchell can help but make shrewd side remarks at the inanity of social circumstance or political happenstance along the way, and we laugh along while accompanying her on this soulful journey through the risky, crater-filled landscape of life in the nineties. This album marks a return to her classic form, and is an outstanding effort by one of the most captivating, surprising, and articulate talents in modern music. From the numbers mentioned above to her treatment of everything from original songs to a stunning interpretation of William Butler Yeats famous poem "The Second Coming", this is filled with numbers you will be humming and singing along with. You will find yourself listening to it and shaking your head knowingly as you recognize her wisdom as she sings her way into the millennium. Enjoy."
Wonderful and totally underrated
Barron Laycock | 08/30/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like most avid Joni fans I first came across her work through Blue and Court and Spark - only later starting to collect her later albums too. Having now bought all her albums apart from Dog Eat Dog I can honestly say that this is one of her very best, and I totally agree with the other reviewer who said this is an underrated record. With the possible exception of Ray's Dad's Cadillac, every song is a gleaming gem, the wonderful vocals, powerful lyrics and simple acoustic guitar arrangements sounding so much better than the over-produced stuff Joni produced in the 80s. The title track alone is worth the price of the CD and the haunting Come In From The Cold has to be one of Joni's most beautiful songs ever. I would (of course!) give Blue and The Hissing Of Summer Lawns 5 stars and although I totally love this album and think it is one of Joni's best 3 or 4 albums, it isn't quite as revolutionary as the Hissing."