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Patti Smith - Peace and Noise Print E-mail
Tuesday, 30 September 1997
Peace and Noise, Arista Records
Performance 6 Sound 7.5

Image Patti Smith has been called nearly everything from the first American Punk to the last of the Beatnik Generation (a tag she's not likely to shed when she recites lines from Allen Ginsberg on her albums). Nevertheless, she's still standing. And realistically, unless you've got her entire catalogue sitting on your shelf, her past records don't really need to be brought up other than to say that this woman is revered by every one from the likes of U2 and the Spice Girls to rappers she's never even heard of. And she is so because of the way she so eloquently expresses her feelings through her work. On 'Peace and Noise,' she gives a voice to exclusion, frustration, and pain in ways which must be given their due.

Unlike her label-mate Sarah McLachlan, Smith's pain isn't something that throws her into a passive contemplative melancholy, but rather into an active, sometimes aggressive anger. Hence the well chosen title of 'Peace and Noise,' On this latest release Smith seems to find a little of both in this world. Sometimes the two are incongruous. Sometimes they are mutually exclusive. Other times they are merely words.

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