Described by Mitchell as "as serious a work as I've ever done," "Shine" presents beautiful melodies, dark lyrics and a sparseness that recalls and even progresses beyond some the artist's most seminal recordings. Much of the lyrical content reflects Mitchell's social and theological consciousness and her longtime plea for the health of the planet. "Joni's voice, both in the physical and lyrical sense, is as powerful as ever," said Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment who also oversees Hear Music. "In addition to her extraordinary songwriting ability, she is a Renaissance artist in every sense and we are honored to release this timely and exceptionally moving work."
Born out of a burst of creative energy, "Shine" is one of three new artistic endeavors launched by Mitchell this year. The first, "The Fiddle and the Drum," a ballet based on Mitchell's music, debuted with the Alberta Ballet in Calgary earlier this year with Mitchell serving as co-creator and artistic director. The second is a politically charged visual art exhibit by Mitchell that will debut in New York in the fall. Two songs included on "Shine," "If" (based Mitchell's favorite poem by Rudyard Kipling) and "If I Had a Heart," were featured in the "The Fiddle and The Drum" when it premiered on February 8, 2007. It was then that The New York Times described Mitchell's "If I Had a Heart" as "one of most haunting melodies she has ever written." The album also contains a joyous reinterpretation of her classic hit song, "Big Yellow Taxi" which was also featured in the ballet.
Big Yellow Taxi (2007)
Night Of The Iguana