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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Banga, released in 2012, was Patti Smith's 11th full-length studio release. Up to this point, I had found each release to be interesting in its way, even if some were more... Read morePublished 2 months ago by miliosr
So powerful, she has softened her edges a little with maturity, but not lost a bit of her personal power. Read morePublished 4 months ago by CC
Mrs. Patti Smith, you did a delicious disc, with a book that is to the height.
Beautiful work, with refined, hypnotic, dazzling songs
The older she gets.......This is Patti the musician at her best.
This is the Girl, her tribute to Amy Winehouse is just fantastic
This is the best Patti disc in her 2nd phase. Great songwriting, poetry & musicianship. A labor of LOVE. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sean A. Heaney
Patti Smith is never less than interesting, but some of her work is more interesting and some of it is less. Like WAVE and GUNG HO, the 2012 BANGA falls into the latter category. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Gary F. Taylor
Absolutely one of the best, if not THE best.... Buy, by all means, and enjoy!Published 14 months ago by john ruymen
What a wonderful album. The songs inspired by Russian classics is enough of a reason to drift away with this CD, but her intro song about the Caribes' collision with the Spanish... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mark Handy