Patti Smith proves that her talent has not faded with time
Of the most recent phases of Patti Smith’s musical output (always surprising since 1996’s Kurt Cobain tribute ‘Gone Again’), ‘Banga’ is by far the most successful. On it she strikes a compelling balance between poetry and musicality. The instrumentation soundtracks the imagery, rather than simply buffering it with noise. Like murder ballads turned on their heads, she offers a message of hope in a world of turmoil. Vocally, she is at her softest and strongest. And nostalgia is irrelevant here – Patti Smith is more than a mere footnote in musical history; she’s as important now as she was when she was kicking up dust at CBGB.