The reviewer does a bit of disservice when referencing other artists in this review. For one thing, Ute Lemper, k.d. lang, and Barbra Streisand are all misspelled. I believe a poor distinction is drawn by choosing these three artists in particular: all could be construed as 'song stylists' moreso than songwriters, as each have focused on interpreting the works of others over performing their own work. (lang is the contestable exception, but three of her major full-length albums are comprised of covers, and her career began -- semi-accidentally -- as a kitsch performance-art tribute to Patsy Cline.)
Mitchell herself would bristle at the notion that she has to be compared to female songwriters in particular when drawing such comparisons. Dylan is the obvious male counterpart, generationally and otherwise, but perhaps few other men come to mind because so few have managed a similarly perfect and distinctive synthesis of art and style. I would argue that only Prince or Elvis Costello have done so and in so many chameleonic phases as Mitchell.
I don't know that anyone would go into this thinking that Turbulent Indigo would be great party music, so that strikes me as a bizarre criterion for judging the album's tone. Having never been to a party held by Patti Smith or Lou Reed, I can't speak as to what they'd be playing, but I doubt it would be Turbulent Indigo in any case. (And Patti Smith's name is misspelled.)
Finally, these songs are among the least cryptic in Mitchell's canon. I *think* I understand the point the reviewer was trying to make - that Mitchell's vintage songs such as "The Jungle Line" or "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter" were more lyrically inscrutable, whereas these new songs are not - but the historical distinction is poorly drawn.
The reviewer's points are well-taken, but the combination of rhetorical and grammatical sloppiness undermines the effect. At least we agree that this is one of Mitchell's finest late-period works (and would likely be the finest, were it not for her orchestral career capstone, Travelogue).