by: Joni Mitchell

Misses intends to round up the best of Joni Mitchell's failed singles and forgotten album tracks, which is a daunting task, to be sure. In a career as acclaimed, idiosyncratic, and prolific as Mitchell's, it's problematic to boil all the forgotten favorites down to one disc, but the task is made all the more difficult by the fact that the songwriter herself compiled the collection and has an agenda. Mitchell is out to prove that her neglected Geffen recordings during the '80s were as consistent as her classic '70s albums for Reprise. Although she is correct in her assessment that the albums should be given more respect, her execution could have been better. The bulk of Misses is comprised of the Geffen recordings, which were frequently difficult to appreciate, and in this presentation, they aren't any easier to digest. "A Case of You," which probably should have been on Hits, is added as bait, but casual fans of that song won't find the rest of Misses as illuminating as Blue. In fact, only the converted will be willing to make an effort with the bulk of Misses, and they'll probably find the individual albums more rewarding. So, the record doesn't appeal to its intended audience, leaving it without one ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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