Peace and Noise
Before Courtney, Madonna, and countless other female “stars,” there was Patti Smith. Cited as influences by virtually every female in Rolling Stone‘s “Women of Rock,” Patti ends her silence with Peace and Noise. “Waiting Underground” speaks like the chants used by slaves on their way out through the underground railroad. Her sultry but brash vocals become upbeat through the solid bass of “1959.” Later, the late Ginsberg has words taken from the footnote to Howl on “Spell.” It feels like a eulogy the way Smith sings. But it’s “Memento Mori,” improvised live in the studio, that truly showcases the talent at work on this album. Patti whispers, speaks, and bellows forth a passionate tale, seemingly speaking to the deceased Burroughs. There is something altogether right when the creator steps forth, and shows the copycats how to do it right.