Jackie Evancho is an American classical crossover singer who gained recognition at an early age. Since 2009, she has released a platinum-selling EP and nine albums. On September 9, she released a new cover album called Carousel of Time. This project contains 10 beautiful covers originally by legendary singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell. The album shows fans and folk music lovers Evancho’s maturity as an artist since she first appeared on America’s Got Talent.
The album starts with a music video covering Joni’s Grammy-award-winning song “Both Sides Now,” which does a fantastic job at sending the audience to a magical place. Jackie Evancho captures Joni Mitchell’s style, beauty, and grace in this video. She does a wonderful job at honoring Joni’s sound while adding her own version to it. Her voice is hypnotic and ethereal. The song’s message is profound and addresses the confusion surrounding love. “I've looked at love from both sides now/ From give and take and still somehow/ It's love's illusions that I recall/ I really don't know love/ Really don't know love at all.” It is a bittersweet masterpiece that embodies dreamy lyricism, smiling through the tears, while evoking universal themes that fit comfortably into any genre.
Evancho chose Carousel of Time as the title of this album because of the lyric in Mitchell’s song “The Circle Game.” The lyrics give an insightful and deeper look into life while reflecting on our memories and realizing how far we have come. “We're captive on the carousel of time/ We can't return, we can only look behind/ from where we came.” The storybook lyrics express the inevitability of a child growing up and becoming an adult. Joni Mitchell's songs often reflect on social and philosophical ideals, life lessons, and her feelings about romance and disillusionment.
The whole album encompasses a state of nirvana where it sounds perfectly peaceful and makes you want to forget about your problems at that moment. The second music video, “River,” is a beautiful take on Joni Mitchell’s classic solace song. Jackie captures the essence of it and stays true to its melancholy style. The lyrics are perfect for the upcoming holiday season and a longing to skate away from any of life’s worries, regrets, problems, loneliness, or heartbreak. The old fashion black & white video makes the song look and feels timeless.
Mitchell fans will notice songs taken from Joni's first four albums and an early B-side track, "Urge for Going.” A standout track with a lovely combination of chords is “Rainy Night House.” It has an engaging choir enter the background to echo the beauty of the song while Jackie is singing, “I sing the soprano in the upstairs choir.” The song’s message is haunting in trying to figure out someone and connecting on so many levels. Its lyrics are spiritual about a holy man wanting to leave his rich life behind, seeking to deeply understand himself and others. He stays up all night watching a woman who watches him. “You sat up all the night and watched me/ To see, who in the world I might be.” Its message makes you reflect on what you value the most in life and what speaks to your soul. Lastly, the songs “Blue” and "The Gallery" will be a nice surprise to Joni Mitchell fans as they are not regular go-to covers.
In 10-tracks, Jackie Evancho delivers another classic filled with iconic songs. Her intricate melodies and composition flow naturally while interweaving new and old-school sounds. At age 22, the singer found her voice as an adult in the music industry. She brings a signature quality sound to Mitchell’s music and an emotional connection to her lyrics. This album’s message focuses on growing up and all the emotions that come along with it while looking back on our experiences. Its compilation reflects on life’s lessons and mysteries while touching the soul on a deeper level. This project will introduce a younger generation to Joni Mitchell’s music while capturing the beauty, magic, and melancholy feeling of life’s moments.
Written by Jenna Provenzale