Patti Smith - Banga
Unique album of punk poetry populated by rocky arias, improvised psalms and lyrical reveries
You may have heard that Patti Smith dedicates a song to Amy Winehouse on her 11th studio album, Banga. This takes the form of a syrupy ballad, ‘This is the Girl’, and its intentions are honourable, but look beyond it: there are greater, more defiant meditations herein.
Banga is punk-poet Smith’s first collection of (largely) original songs since 2004’s Trampin’, and stars long-term collaborators Lenny Kaye, Jay Dee Daugherty, Tony Shanahan and Television’s Tom Verlaine. It’s an earthy, earthly treatise whose rocky arias, improvised psalms and lyrical reveries emotionally navigate natural disasters (‘Fuji-san’), Johnny Depp’s birthday (‘Nine’), and New World voyages (‘Amerigo’). When Smith cries out, ‘All is art!’ on nature-culture wig-out ‘Constantine’s Dream’, you’re reminded there’s still no one like her.