Gone Again

Gone Again

Singer-poet Patti Smith made some of the most joyfully raucous music to come out of the ’70s CBGB scene; Horses in particular stretched the limits of rock and punk. Gone Again was her return to the studio after an eight-year absence. Informed by a series of personal losses, including that of husband/ex-MC5er Fred “Sonic” Smith, the album revealed another aspect of her work. More ruminative even than her classic early songs “Birdland” and “We Three,” Gone Again married a taut drone to strains often informed by folk music (“Beneath the Southern Cross,” “Dead to the World”), only occasionally rocking full-on (“Summer Cannibals”), while paying tribute to Kurt Cobain (“About a Boy”) and covering Dylan (“Wicked Messenger,” with its ruling “If you can’t bring good news, then don’t bring any”). Ultimately, songs born of sorrow helped reintroduce Smith to a wide audience, young and old.

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