Songs of a Prairie Girl
Although the previously released selections on Songs of a Prairie Girl certainly account for some of Joni Mitchell’s best work, it’s not your typical greatest-hits compilation by any means. Instead, it’s a musical autobiography. She’s selected the songs that best represent the narrative arc of her personal life and brought them all together on one disc. Some of the songs have been edited (“Come in from the Cold”) or remixed (“Paprika Plains”), but all retain their familiarity. Still, so much autobiographical work is a risky, self-revealing move; Mitchell pulls it off. From the mathematics-class rebel of “Ray’s Dad’s Cadillac” to the middle-aged reflection of “Song for Sharon,” we get a clear musical picture of Mitchell’s life, as well as a nice compilation of some of her best work.