Magazine article Colorlines Magazine

Patti Smith: Twelve (Columbia)

Magazine article Colorlines Magazine

Patti Smith: Twelve (Columbia)

Article excerpt

DESPITE A LACK OF SIGNIFICANT CHART SUCCESS, Patti Smith has carved out a 40-year career that has found her at the center of conversations regarding the creative possibilities and motivations of modern rock music. Alternately deified and reviled, Smith has been at the center of intermittent controversy (most famously for the song "Rock N' Roll Nigger" from 1978's Easter) but has created a consistently compelling and honest body of work.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Released concurrently with her recent induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Twelve could easily be dismissed as a cynical cash-in by an icon resting on her laurels; anyone who did so however would be missing out on a deeply personal and intelligently rendered diary of an experience of American popular music from both insider and outsider perspectives. It's an album that intertwines class, gender and race politics through the artist's memories of the selected songs and their creators.

Originally compiled as a wish list in 1978, numerous songs on Twelve dropped in and out by the time the album was actually recorded. The final product is a map of personal, political and artistic evolution and an intensely interesting portrait of one artist's memories as opposed to crass marketing of nostalgia.

Recorded with the same band members who appear on her 1975 landmark Horses, Twelve includes Smith's inimitable interpretations of both ubiquitous and more obscure tracks from well-known folk, rock and R & B artists recorded between 1967 and 1991. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.