Patti Smith's pretensions are as important to her as feedback—both give the music the kind of kick and quirk that makes falling off a stage a transcendent experience. Her unwarranted assertions are grandiose, self-serving, impossible but noble. They hold out cosmic solutions, received philosophy, and, especially on Easter, lavish hope. Frequently they don't even fuck up the music; their profusion of exhortation, drivel, hallucination, and poetry complements the verve and, increasingly, the wit of the loud music played by the Patti Smith Group.
However all-inclusive they may seem, Smith's pretensions have never extended to matters of technique, and thematic coherence is not something you look...
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