Album box set reviews: Joni Mitchell, T. Rex, The Kinks and Abba

Joni Mitchell, Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to  Be Danced

I suppose that, being adept in so many other fields – poetry, painting, songwriting, jazz – it’s understandable that Joni Mitchell might want to explore ballet, too; although this themed 4CD collection poses more questions than it answers. Rather than the confessional folkie of her early albums, it presents her as a jazzier torch-song auteur, so we get the evocative 2000 reinterpretation of “Both Sides Now”, but less agreeably it means that oozing fretless bass swamps many of these 53 tracks. Yet there’s a great autobiographical essay about how Mitchell works, the way she uses mistakes or found sounds, such as the buzzing of a string against a fret, which affords revealing insights into her creative process.

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