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iTunes Review

Eight years after her last album of original material, Patti Smith returns with a collection that's among the most musical of her career. She's certainly earned her revered-elder status, having recently won the National Book Award for nonfiction for her memoir Just Kids—but Banga is no exercise in nostalgia. The Italian group Casa del Vento and guitarists Tom Verlaine and Jack Petruzzelli add a musicality that's sometimes been missing in her punkish approach. "Amerigo" features Smith's spoken word, beginning with Europe's discovery of America as the New World. "April Fool" enjoys a wealth of tonal colors from guitars and keyboards. "This Is the Girl" and "Maria" follow in Smith's tradition of feting icons, with the tender ballads memorializing, respectively, Amy Winehouse and the late actress Maria Schneider. The title track plays as fierce, tribal rock 'n' roll, though much of the album uses a subtler approach. "Mosaic" modifies the tribal effect with a gentleness that's Smith's true forte. Her cover of Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" is a reverent rendition that Smith sings in her lower range, where Young once sang it at the top of his. 

Customer Reviews

The Worst Sin of All

Having traded in her ferocity to become a hippie earth mother goddess who sees it as her job to nurture and enlighten us, Patti's committed the worst aesthetic sin of all: She's boring from start to finish -- although sometimes unintentionally hilarious as in her somber ode to Amy Winehouse. (Seriously, Patti, Amy as Jesus with her blood turning to wine?) Her every trope is recycled here to no effect, her lyrics here rarely rise above doggerel and her melodies are nonexistent. Which would be fine if she were still playing punk rock, but she's not. How the mighty have fallen.



"All Through The Night!"

.."We'll Race Through Alleyways!"..Oh; Bang On; Patti; Bang On!-We've been following your career arc from "Horses" to "Trampin" and from "Babel" to "Just Kids"; Infinitely impressive; Obstinately original!-{An aspiring Music Journalist was interviewing me recently on who I thought were the most impressive "Live" Performers I ever had the pleasure to have seen; I responded; Without hesitation: Bob Marley & The Wailers and The Patii Smith Group!}-Now marching on towards 66; She still has the Power to Shock & Awe; But also to embrace World Rhythms & Jazzy Improvisations="To Boldly Go Where No Woman Has Gone Before!"; In Art; Literature & Performance!-Still with a knowing nod to The Existentialists & The Beats; But uniquely Her Own!-"This Is The Girl" for me! Grimmbo.


Born: December 30, 1946 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Punk rock's poet laureate Patti Smith ranks among the most influential female rock & rollers of all time. Ambitious, unconventional, and challenging, Smith's music was hailed as the most exciting fusion of rock and poetry since Bob Dylan's heyday. If that hybrid remained distinctly uncommercial for much of her career, it wasn't a statement against accessibility so much as the simple fact that Smith followed her own muse wherever it took her -- from structured rock songs to free-form experimentalism,...
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