One note about the song Radio Baghdad. Someone posted that it was treason. I was called up for the Iraq War and was in Bagdad and Iraq for most of last year- I don't brand her a traitor or treasonous. I also find it a very powerful song and can't believe it hasn't found a bigger audience.
If you like Patti Smith you'll like Trampin'. If you've never heard her, be prepared for some of the most intelligent and deeply felt music made in quite a while.
Like BORN TO RUN, DARK SIDE OF THE MOON and BLONDE ON BLONDE, it's no stretch to call this an historic issue for many reasons. The songs are consistently well-crafted. A pity the moguls at Sony failed to include lyrics in the package since the words are so potent and evocative. The opener, JUBILEE, is especially lyrical and showcases a powerful, burnished voice that fits the music like a glove.
Unlike most albums, great thought was given to the sequence of songs -- which range from pensive to explosive. By the time RADIO BAGHDAD bursts through your system, the voice, the music, the production itself, will take your breath away. GANDHI, in particular, will become an underground classic. Indeed, it's been going 'round and 'round in my head since I first heard it.
Technically, it's been years since I heard a band recorded with such nuance. All the pieces are well-defined. The dynamic range of the recording is awesome, and the voice is placed exactly where it should be. Audiophiles will put this CD in their demonstration rack, but so will those who believe rock is a life-force and a potent political art form, too.
Nothing I've heard in the past five years approaches the quality of this release. I'm now a Patti Smith fan at the grand age of 52, and plan to buy a copy of HORSES this weekend. TRAMPIN' reminds us that in the cesspool of the American record industry -- in which 90% of new rock releases are throwaway -- some smart producers (in this case, Patti Smith and her band) may turn your head around.
We're living through a terribly dark time in 2004, and this beautifully crafted album is a burst of light.
Five huge, freakin' stars.
Much of the show consisted of tracks from the new cd and they were on a par with the "greatest hits" interspersed throughout the rest of the show. At 57, Patti Smith is more relevant than ever. Get this disc and, as Patti would no doubt want me to say, be sure to register AND vote.