After Eight Years, Patti Smith Readies New Album, Banga

"April Fool", the album's lead-off single, leads the way

By , Columnist

When Patti Smith releases a new album, it isn’t because she feels any pressure to do so. After the release of Wave back in 1979, it took Smith some nine years to release her next album, Dream Of Life. In similar fashion, her follow-up (Gone Again) took eight years. With a new album readying for release, we can tell that nothing has changed. Patti takes her time.

Trampin’, her last studio album of original material, was out in 2004. In 2007, she released a collection of cover songs (Twelve). And while it may have interested some, Twelve doesn’t really count except as an oddity in the Smith catalog.

Patti Smith has evolved from angry young punk poetess with a penchant for incredible adaptations of her words to music to a brilliant observer of life with the same ability to convert words and meaning to strong and important music collected in her infrequent albums.

PattiSmithAprilFool.jpgOn April 1, Columbia released a track to herald the upcoming release of her new album, her first of original material since 2004. The new album is called Banga. It has been slated for release on June 5, ending a long eight-year silence.

Banga will deliver 12 tracks of original new music from the usual suspects, longtime Smith cohorts Lenny Kaye, Jay Dee Daugherty, and Tony Shanahan. But Banga will also bring some surprises to it including a guest spot by Tom Verlaine of Television fame. The single in release, “April Fool” (currently available for download at iTunes), features Verlaine in a vocal assist role. “April Fool,” a tune that is a bit of a departure for Smith, is an airy song leaning toward pop. It's more than a little interesting in that it is unmistakably Smith and yet it feels fresh. Hear it once, and you want to hear it again.

Glad to see you back, Patti.

01. Amerigo
02. Fuji-san
03. April Fool
04. This is the Girl
05. Banga
06. Maria
07. Tarkovsky (The Second Stop is Jupiter)
08. Mosaic
09. Nine
10. Seneca
11. Constantine’s Dream
12. After the Gold Rush

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Matt Rowe began his life with an AM radio, listening to anything that was considered music. Since, he has labored intently to build a collection of music, paring it down, rebuilding, and refining as he sees fit. His decided goal is to keep up with new music by panning for the nuggets among literal mountains…

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