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Various Artists 

A Tribute to Joni Mitchell

Even though the tribute-album concept has gone beyond cliché, every once in a while a decent collection emerges. Canadian songstress Joni Mitchell has enjoyed a very productive and lucrative career, exemplifying the epitome of class and emotional wordplay. Her extensive catalog illustrates an incredible musical range, which is mirrored in this homage. The only real issue is the somewhat diminished celebration of Mitchell's work, as only 12 songs are presented. But there are few complaints about these dozen jewels. From the neo-symphonic Sufjan Stevens' "Free Man in Paris" to the Latin-influenced cover of "Dreamland" by Caetano Veloso, Mitchell's songs retain their integrity even when morphed into something new. Prince, a longtime Mitchell fan, delivers a heartfelt performance on "A Case of You." And with Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Annie Lennox and k.d. lang on board, it only gets better. If only there were more ... 4 stars.

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