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Praying Mantis

Jim Carroll

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Album Review

Not a rock & roll album like his three early-'80s releases with the Jim Carroll Band, 1991's Praying Mantis is a spoken word disc recorded live at St. Marks Church in the Bowery. Taking poems and monologues from his collections Living at the Movies (1973), The Book of Nods (1986), and Forced Entries (1987), as well as some new material and a 14-minute improvised monologue/prose poem/rant called "The Loss of American Innocence," Praying Mantis is like a greatest poetry hits collection. Those who aren't fans of Carroll's Rimbaud/Verlaine-derived poetry will not have their minds changed (indeed, his harsh Noo Yawk accent sometimes obscures the language's power), but it's pretty essential for fans.

Biography

Born: 01 August 1948 in New York, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

To rock audiences, Jim Carroll's crowning achievement was the near-hit "People Who Died," a brutally emotional punk record saluting the victims of the New York drug culture. In truth, however, Carroll's artistic legacy was considerably more complex and far-ranging — an acclaimed diarist, poet, actor, and spoken...
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