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Banga Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Vinyl, Import, July 24, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Banga is Patti Smith's first collection of original material since 2004's critically-acclaimed Trampin'. The album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City and produced by Patti Smith and her band: Tony Shanahan, Jay Dee Daugherty and her long-time collaborator Lenny Kaye. Featured guests include Tom Verlaine, Jack Petruzzelli, Smith's son Jackson and daughter Jesse Paris.

Inspired by Smith's unique dreams and observations, Banga's poetic lyrics are a reflection of our complex world a world that is rife with chaos and beauty. Praised for her storytelling abilities, Smith has crafted an album that captures a wide range of human experience. There is an exploratory spirit in the songs that make up Banga, including a melodic overture imagining the voyage of Amerigo Vespucci to the New World in 1497 ("Amerigo"), a rock song for the people of Japan in the wake of last years earthquake ("Fuji-san"), a classic ballad in memory of Amy Winehouse ("This Is The Girl"), an improvised meditation on art and nature ("Constantine's Dream") as well as a birthday song written for her friend Johnny Depp ("Nine").

Banga is available on CD, LP, and as a Special Edition hard cover book including 64 pages of original images, complete lyrics & liner notes by the artist plus an exclusive track, "Just Kids."

The vinyl version of this album is pressed on two 180 gram LPs.

Product Details

  • Vinyl (July 24, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B007RQ3VB0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,884 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After eight years, the real Patti Smith is come back. Simple and beauty . Poems about one world that change every day but never disappear. The same group, the same sound but more personal, more confidential. Very close to the european culture, but more powerful, more close. The album is full of reference to cinema (Godard, Tarkovsky, Maria Schneider or Antonnioni) and literature, Buljakov or Gogol, but don't be afraid the music is very simple to hear and excellent. Specials feelings are in each song and "Constantine's Dream is a good example of this.
The special edition is beautiful, is like a poem book and also have a extra track, "Just Kids"with a very good collection of photos in black and white, a very interesting commentary about each song and the circumstance around the origin of each composition. Is not a simple "new" Patti Smith CD, is something more, a compilation of feelings over the world in a travel with no end. Serenity and wisdom. A good music for special people to try to communicate something more that simples sounds. A great work.
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Format: Audio CD
She never really goes away, but when she gifts us with what she has found after going into the depths of the souls of cities and history and books and music where she explores the human heart, she brings back such gems melded by the fire of her own heart. This album is so full of the sweet voice of her youth intermingled with the wisdom of her age. It's a prayer, it's a tale, it's a calling for us all to rest in her arms while she lullabies us to dream of the places we want to go to find our own inner pathways to peace and victory. It's a must listen for old fans, but it's a great intro for the youth who have not listened to her yet. Don't waste another day not hearing this one!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"We were going to see the world." There was never a doubt in my mind about the destination. I knew she was going there, and that I was going with her.

My inclination when hearing this latest work was to say "Welcome back, old friend." My feeling about Patti is whenever she turns up it's like a much-loved friend from high school. We need to get a cup of coffee and catch up at the nearest bistro (not Starbucks.)

I first saw Patti on TV on a Sunday night on WWOR channel 9 in the early 1970's referring to subway graffiti as new age Jackson Pollack. It was a black & white documentary of 3 artists speaking on New York City. I noted, "keep on eye on this girl."

Buy the deluxe edition if you can afford it for no other reason than the hardcovered booklet is a beautiful work of art - photographs, Patti's thoughts and process of what went into creating and recording the music, the lyrics. There's no need on my part to try to summarize or interpret. She's done all the heavy lifting. There are moments of the mystical - especially the discovery of the image of "Dream of Constantine." Buy the deluxe edition because it's a BOOK. Kindle will never replace the feeling of turning a page, looking at the images, running your fingers across the page for the first time feeling like silk, opening the book and cracking the spine. It's a gift. The lyrics - poems, really - and the process unfolding are what attracted me to Patti in the first place.

I'm reminded of a moment back in the beginning. I was sitting on the floor of the Gotham Book Mart browsing through Joris Huysman's "Las Bas" first edition. It was pissing down rain. Gotham would never throw you out, even if it was obvious you had no money.
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Format: Audio CD
Patti Smith hasn't released a proper new album since 2004's TRAMPIN'. Her latest release, BANGA finds Smith back in the studio feeling just as comfortable as ever before. The outcome is an album that is both soulful, beautiful, organic, and confident. At the album's best, its a great punk-tinged pop-poetry showcase.

The opening track "Amerigo" is a great, half spoken-word piece about the wonders and excitement of new discovery; similar techniques are used to great effect on "Tarkovsy (the Second Stop is Jupiter)" as well. These songs (and the 10-minute "Constantine's Dream") fuses Smith's pop-sensibilities with her street-poet instincts. Other tracks on the album are a little more forward in convention, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. "This is the Girl" is a poignant and sweet remembrance of the troubled Amy Winehouse; "Nine" rolls through guitar riffs and percussive tribal-like rhythms. Smith's lyrics are just as good as ever, but some of the energy she had feels lost. The track "Banga" has all the right elements: nice guitar riffs, interesting lyrics, good melodies, but it lacks the energy that her earlier work showcased. This energy has been replaced by a warm, wise, soulful mood that pervades the album. BANGA ends with "After the Gold Rush," a great ballad that brings in her children to finish the song for her.

Long time fans of Patti Smith will love BANGA. For new listeners, this album is a good entrance to her catalog, but I would suggest starting with her seminal HORSES. Listeners of Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen will find a lot to like here. Outstanding tracks to sample: "Amerigo," "Banga," and "Constantine's Dream." These songs will give you a good idea what to expect from the album.
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