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Patti Smith: Banga

Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, 4 June 2012

AFTER HER National Book Award-winning memoir Just Kids greatly expanded her audience, Patti Smith could have done the usual aging-rock-legend safety move: record an album of standards and covers. Except she had just done that with 2007's Twelve. Instead, on her first album of original material in eight years, Smith goes back to her notebook and pulls out everything that's been great about her for four decades – an encyclopedia's worth of literary, mythic, historical, religious and musical references; doo-wop ballads; epic guitars and guitar epics; quivering poems in headstand pose – and some things that are not.

Total word count of piece: 337


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