Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now
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This classic track, as performed by the incomparable Joni Mitchell, seems to contain an inherent contradiction in its sound. The juxtaposition of skittering strings and plaintive vocals registers both an ethereal sense of other-worldliness, and a grounded, roiling nostalgia. Underpinned throughout is a chorus of piano notes, which at times give way to an accordion arrangement.
Here, the listener is presented with two competing narratives. On the one hand, there is an embittered recognition of life's complexities; on the other, a kind of whimsical flirtation with the joys of perpetual exploration. That these two sentiments can be contained in the same piece is a rare and powerful liturgy.
All in all, Mitchell's song is a sublime reminder to embrace all sides of existence with a suggestive measure of sangfroid. The perfect ringtone to signal when life contains more than can be processed at once!