Tuesday, July 3, 2007
No. 44: Horses
Band: Patti Smith
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: The CBGB scene wasn't just Talking Heads and CBGB. The post-feminist screamer wasn't just provocative (“Women is the nigger of the world” she sang), but soulful and had a hell of a band to back her up (including Lenny Kaye of the MC5).
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: Soulful or not, her voice isn't that good. Moreover, the whole record sounds like a poetry slam meeting gone awry.
Best song: “Gloria” is the song everyone knows. It's not terrible, therefore it's the best song on there.
Worst song: Everything else.
Is it awesome?: I don't think so.
I normally like female singers. I particularly like Cat Power, Tara Jane O'Neil and Elizabeth Elmore (of The Reputation and Sarge). I certainly don't have anything against feminism; In fact, I consider myself something of a feminist.
But, I just can't dig on “Horses.” At a time when music was changing, Smith was so avant garde, she apparently made people's heads spin. She doesn't do that to me (I'm not shocked easily) and I certainly don't have much use for the kind of English major dropout bullshit she was so famous for. Again, it's poetry night at the wannabe revolutionary coffee shop. That's not appealing to me.
I do understand the importance and intelligence of the album. While I'm a huge fan of literate rock music, I think there's a certain amount of, you know, melody that's important. “Horses” doesn't have much of that.