Patti Smith Paul Nelson - Essay

Paul Nelson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

If critics are having nightmares these days, one of the worst of them will undoubtedly be about not liking "Horses," Patti Smith's ubiquitous debut album. Without missing a beat, the nation's linotypers seem to have shifted from Springsteen to Smith, and there is no escaping this strange New Jersey Nightingale. Sneakers are out, Rimbaud is in, and I feel so poeticized I could die. However, after listening to the record a dozen times, not only do I not like "Horses," I never want to hear it again—these days a difficult admission to make.

"Horses" is so clearly a classically idiosyncratic "first" album that perhaps the artist's subsequent records will illuminate its not inconsiderable virtues...

(The entire section is 651 words.)