Morton | Colorado | 02/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Patti Smith Group-Easter **** 1/2
It's ironic to think that Bruce Springsteens only number one song was performed by an artist/group who is not even half as famous as him and that never really set out to be that famous. 'Because The Night' the song Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen wrote together in the mid 1970's which went on to become a massive number one hit for The Patti Smith Group in 1978, and really the bands only hit single. But Easter is more then that. The Patti Smith group is a group of intelectuals who happened to pick up instruments and just happened to start a band. Lenny, the guitar player was a musical writer, while Patti is a a straight up poet in the truest and most purest since of the term, a pure poet.
Opening with 'Til Victory' the most just straight up rocker the band would ever record starts the album off just right. 'Space Monkey' is a guitar driven rant which does seem to lose it's focus at certain points but still prevails like and ancient comedy. 'Because The Night' keeps things rolling with dark lyrics of longing and love mixed somehow with a pop astetic. 'Ghost Dance' should be called 'Ghost Chant' rather because that is essentialy what it is. Much in the same vein as Jim Morrison and The Doors' 'Wild Love.' Not that I am comparing the two. 'Babelogue' is a live poetry reading from Patti with a crowed going wild in the back ground demostraiting the power of her readings which she was known for almost more so then her rock n' roll performances. 'Bebelogue' sort of rolls right into the focal point of the album, and maybe Patti Smiths greatest song of all time, 'Rock N' Roll Nigger.' A song that is nothing like you would assume from the title. Much like John Lennon's own 'Woman Is The Nigger Of The World' this song is about outsiders and trailblazers, originals, and those who have the courage to be themselves and in the process of that different. Calling Jesus Christ, Jackson Pullock, Jimi Hendrix, "niggers" and grandma too. Patti Smiths own mother use to vacum to that song. The rest of the album is sort of less then breathtaking you could say. Which is understandable concidering what they are fallowing. 'Priviledge (Set Me Free)' flows nice but is not too spectial. 'We Three' is moving and wonderfully written, with a nice piano melody to move it along. '25th Floor' is the shining diamond in the rough on the second side of the album. Next to 'Rock N' Roll Nigger' it is the strongest track on the album with powerful vocals and great imagry, fantastic guitar work from Lenny, and the driving Organ is perfectly complamentary. 'High On Rebellion' is a rocker with poetic lyrics spoken over a screaming Patti Smith vocal. It makes for an interesting track but can be too much to some, while I love it. 'Easter' seems like a stab at another epic like the band had done on their last album, their debut, Horses, which went on to become one of the greatest and most aclaimed albums of all time. Some versions of the album come with the bonus track 'Godspeed' which is a nice addition but one that I can personally take or leave.
Much like her first album and all the albums to come Patti takes the cover as a peice of art just as important as the music which is incased in side. The cover of Easter features Patti wearing a tank-top with her arms in the air displaying hairy armpits. Wow! It even tops the cover for Horses, which many thought would be impossible.
Easter is not the album Horses was, but it is not far off. The albums are nothing alike so don't expect them to be. All of Patti's solo albums as well as her work with the group are different from one another. One thing is for sure, Easter is worth owning, it's a peice of art, punk, and rock history that should not be left unvisited."