Your Garage botysf16 Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Adele Fire TV Stick Sun Care Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer WienerDog WienerDog WienerDog  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Best Camping & Hiking Gear in Outdoors STEM
Customer Review

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars She's Good Under the Covers, June 5, 2007
This review is from: Twelve (Audio CD)
Fresh on the heels of her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and perplexing as ever (in her case a good thing), Patti Smith has released "Twelve," a collection of a dozen cover songs. The woman Rolling Stone dubbed "punk's priestess and poet laureate" finds a way to cite her influences, take advantage of her recent publicity and also toss listeners a bone until she releases the self-penned follow up to 2004's critically embraced "Trampin'."

In keeping with her defiantly androgynous image, Smith covers songs exclusively written by male songwriters (with the lone exception of Grace Slick's "White Rabbit"), never failing to put her own signature stamp on each. She is not the conventional singer, having gained acclaim for a performance style that lies somewhere in-between singing and shouting, but the selections she has chosen lend themselves to it extremely well.

For instance, she injects a welcome shot of momentum into the Rolling Stones' spirited "Gimme Shelter," while accenting Neil Young's "Helpless" with beauty, grace and intensity. She event tips her hat to Bob Dylan in covering his underrated "Changing of the Guards," a single from his 1978 LP "Street Legal" that failed to make the Billboard charts. Her spirited, toned down delivery invokes a whole new level of appreciation of Dylan's words while also showcasing her astute empathy of them - this is not just any old cover.

The most surprising aspect of "Twelve," though, is Smith's more contemporary choices. Her flavorful reading of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," which hit #1 on the pop charts for Tears For Fears back in 1985, trades in the pathos of the original for a more factual delivery in which the meaning of the lyrics emerges more clearly. She even adds some of her own poetry to her understated but effective take on Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Elsewhere, Jefferson Airplane's classic "White Rabbit" and "Within You, Without You" by The Beatles work fine for Smith, although different covers from those bands might have proved more interesting. Still, other covers from the likes of Paul Simon, Jimi Hendrix and The Doors are effervescent, rewarding listens. The closing duo of "Midnight Rider" (The Allman Brothers Band) and "Pastime Paradise" (Stevie Wonder) concludes the album on a high note.

It may be a stopgap release, but Smith has never been one to release music that wasn't worth a second glance, and this time is no different. With an interesting mix of substantial, lyric-driven material she can sink her teeth into, she delivers another fine record and reminds listeners why she deserves her recent accolade.

An exclusive cover of R.E.M's "Everybody Hurts" is available at Target.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 13, 2007 5:39:52 AM PDT
Very good, thoughtful review. However, Grace Slick is not male, and she wrote "White Rabbit." I absolutely agree with your comment about choosing a different song from Jefferson Airplane would've been more interesting. I've always been fond of Slick's "Greasy Heart" myself. Or "Two Heads". But "White Rabbit" is iconic. More importantly, Grace Slick is the role model for the next generation, and the generation after that one, of female rock vocalists. She had riot grrrl stamped all over her back in the flower power '60's. Patti gets major points for acknowledging the debt.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2007 10:34:28 PM PDT
Rudy Palma says:
I was very careful in trying to verify my suspicion that all songs on the album were by men, but apparently one slipped by me or the information I found was simply inaccurate. Thanks for the clear-up.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›