Ray Rahman
May 25, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

BANGA

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Patti Smith
genre
Rock

We gave it an A-

The 65-year-old Priestess of Punk recently roared back into the zeitgeist thanks to her National Book Award-winning 2010 memoir, Just Kids. So perhaps it makes sense that Smith’s 11th album is her most energized in years, if not decades. Relieved of the protest poetry of 2004’s enjoyable but politically burdened Trampin‘, Banga feels like both a return to form and a renewal — with Lenny Kaye’s Sonic Youth-ful guitar meshing with Smith’s literary lyricism the way it did when they were, well, just kids. A-

Best Tracks:
Tender ballad April Fool
Stormy Banga

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