Patti Smith: Twelve

 |   |  <1 min read

Patti Smith: Twelve

Even in Smith's often unpredictable career this is unexpected: a covers album which includes Tears For Fears' Everybody Wants to Rule The World? Its very straight treatment is equally surprising.

You'd expect her to tear through it with righteous indignation but no, she delivers it as the bouncy pop ballad it always was.

But better is elsewhere: her drawling treatment of Hendrix' Are You Experienced? deftly interweaves snippets of other Hendrix lyrics (and guitarist Lenny Kaye peeling off bits of Stars That Play and other Hendrix riffs throughout); Neil Young's Helpless gets an appropriately world-weary reading; George Harrison's Within You Without You drones nicely over 12-string and hand drum; and Nirvana's Teen Spirit is eerily acoustic.

But mostly these are straight-ahead versions: the Stones' Gimme Shelter, Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit, Dylan's Changing of the Guards, Paul Simon'sBoy in the Bubble.

Her band elevate most tracks but Smith's lack of invention or personal spin on the lyrics is disappointing.

There's a lingering feeling that if it weren't Smith you'd hardly continue paying attention. It's like an album of collected B-sides.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

K.T. Tunstall: Tiger Suit (Virgin)

K.T. Tunstall: Tiger Suit (Virgin)

Word is that a campervan trip around New Zealand in 09 and appearing at Neil Finn's 7 Worlds Collide reinvigorated Scottish singer Tunstall who leaped to fame overnight when a Jools Holland show... > Read more

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell: Old Yellow Moon (Warners)

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell: Old Yellow Moon (Warners)

Two-part question to Emmylou and Rodney: What took you so long (they've been musical pals for almost four decades) and why songs – albeit good ones – mostly from back-catalogues?... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

T.Rex: Electric Warrior (1971)

T.Rex: Electric Warrior (1971)

By the time of the Tanx album in 1973, things were starting to go sour for T.Rex's frontman Marc Bolan. He hadn't cared when his old champion John Peel had dismissed his glam pop for its... > Read more

JOHN MARTYN'S 1980 ALBUM GRACE AND DANGER: How can you mend a broken heart?

JOHN MARTYN'S 1980 ALBUM GRACE AND DANGER: How can you mend a broken heart?

Like his peer Richard Thompson, with whom he sometimes recorded, Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist Martyn came from a folk background in the mid 60s then incorporate rock gestures into his... > Read more