I used to work with a guy who thought Joni Mitchell was a genius. He wasn’t one of those hyper-focused fans who have one or two favorites that could do no wrong. This guy really loved music. He just thought Joni Mitchell had produced probably a dozen or so records he would call “masterpieces.” In his eyes, the Beatles only had one of those, so he didn’t throw that term around lightly. He just really connected with Joni Mitchell.
It’s fair to say that Joni Mitchell can be heard in a lot of songs, especially among female singer-songwriters with enough chops and theory to slip some jazz into their songs. About halfway through my first listen to Anything Can’t Happen (a title I love, by the way), I reached out to my old friend and recommended this record to him. The bottom line here is that if you like Joni Mitchell, you’ll probably like Dorothea Paas. Likewise, if you hate Joni Mitchell, don’t bother with this record. For the bulk of us who fall somewhere in the middle, this is a good one to check out when you’re in the mood for Joni but have just heard Blue too many times and now can’t decide between For the Roses and Hissing of Summer Lawns. As a reward, you get the closer, “Running Under My Life,” where Paas sheds some of the influence she wears on her sleeve in favor of a more ambient sound by the end of the song.
Released: May 7, 2021