Patti Smith

Patti Smith

“Trampin’” (Columbia)

In some ways, Patti Smith’s most political, anti-establishment album is also her most American, most patriotic, and most religious. Violin and pedal steel color several of the songs with a folk and county tinge, and Smith’s argument with George W. Bush is as much that he has made a mockery of American values as it is that he is a warmonger. In “Gandhi,” one of several free-form poem-songs, she posits a righteous alternative. Her band, including longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye and drummer Jay Dee Daugherty, has never sounded better, and her long underrated vocals have become a thing of beauty. She also hasn’t lost her gift for clever wordplay: “I’m no Sufi, but I’ll give it a whirl.” [ 5/9/04 ]

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