Banga - Patti Smith
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 91
    Banga feels like both a return to form and a renewal.
  2. Jun 19, 2012
    90
    Banga is a song cycle that expresses a synthesis of all of her strengths to form one of her strongest albums.
  3. Jun 7, 2012
    90
    Banga serves as a glorious refresher on Smith's talent as musician while also upholding her reputation as a writer.
  4. 88
    Banga is both a return to form and her best album in many years.
  5. Jun 5, 2012
    86
    Banga finds the artist more robust than ever-ageless, even.
  6. Jun 12, 2012
    83
    By the time Banga gets to its album-closing song Smith has delivered nearly an hour of those kinds of songs [meditations on creativity, immediacy, and centuries of human endeavor.]
  7. Jul 24, 2012
    80
    A great part of the pleasure of Banga is revelling in the medium conveying the message. For the most part, the album is a smooth listen, its revelation couch within relaxed AOR-ish arrangements. [Jul 2012, p.64]
  8. Jun 26, 2012
    80
    Smith leads one of the best and sturdiest bands in rock... and their intricately scored psychedelia is a running high in Mosaic, the title stomp, with its yowling-wolf lick and Nine, an extended beguiling jam that suggests Smith fronting her own Doors. [Jul 2012, p.89]
  9. Jun 15, 2012
    80
    [Banga] may be the songstress's most ambitious statement yet.
  10. Jun 12, 2012
    80
    Banga itself doesn't exactly break many rules, but it does find Smith rejuvenated, discovering new wisdom in old myths and icons, and in her missives to the young, a renewed sense of purpose.
  11. 80
    Patti Smith's latest album, her best in a while, is held together by a spine of pieces themed around exploration.
  12. 80
    Patti Smith builds upon her already impressive career for one of her finest, least commercial but most enticing and entrancing albums.
  13. Jun 8, 2012
    80
    It finds Smith sounding utterly rejuvenated, with a heady idealism imbuing her finest record in more than two decades.
  14. Jun 7, 2012
    80
    Patti Smith's voice is clear and powerful, an embodiment of her singularity as a poet and musician.
  15. Of the most recent phases of Patti Smith's musical output (always surprising since 1996's Kurt Cobain tribute 'Gone Again'), Banga is by far the most successful.
  16. Jun 5, 2012
    80
    Banga is an event; it's not only provocative and expansive lyrically, but abundantly enjoyable musically.
  17. 80
    Banga is the 65-year-old's 11th album, one of the most satisfying of her latterday career.
  18. Jun 5, 2012
    80
    [Banga] is a classic Patti Smith album in that it mixes pop panache with punk sensibilities and poetic ruminations.
  19. Jun 1, 2012
    80
    At her best, and across much of Banga, Patti Smith still dramatises the distance between South Jersey and the San Francisco basilica, the street tussle between the poet and the factory girl, the devotion of the mongrels of faith for the betrayers of salvation. [Jul 2012, p.78]
  20. Jun 1, 2012
    80
    Banga is the best Patti Smith album since Horses. No one else makes rock records as rich, poetic and sexy as this.
  21. Jun 1, 2012
    80
    She has never sung better.
  22. Jun 1, 2012
    80
    There's not much on proto-punk legend Patti Smith's 11th album, Banga, that would have sounded out of place back when she first started blowing minds in the 1970s.
  23. Jul 5, 2012
    75
    For the rest of her 11th studio album she makes good on her word, drawing connections across history between cultures, generations and genres of music.
  24. Jun 6, 2012
    71
    Though neither a high point nor a low point in her freewheeling, four-decade career, Banga has the same charm of Smith's best albums: It flits with the impressionistic fascinations of a single mind.
  25. Jun 18, 2012
    70
    At 65 [Smith] presents herself unburdened by age. She identifies on this album with voyagers, adventurers and her fellow artists; she's still determined to explore.
  26. 70
    Banga doesn't just preserve a petrified version of Patti Smith circa Horses; rather, it's fresh and innovative, albeit disjointed.
  27. Jun 6, 2012
    70
    A bit of musical beauty, some interesting lyricism and a pinch of hippy bollocks--still distinctly Patti Smith.
  28. Jun 5, 2012
    70
    [The album] has sweet moments of song. But Banga's real magic happens when the words start flying off the grooves.
  29. Oct 12, 2012
    60
    A low-light delight. [Jul 2012, p.110]
  30. Jun 4, 2012
    60
    If only her music might just occasionally match the freeform, flighty, extravagant nature of her words.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Sep 4, 2012
    6
    When Patti Smith isn't careful, she can let loose with ridiculous banter that comes across as sophomoric poeticism, or pointless rants thatWhen Patti Smith isn't careful, she can let loose with ridiculous banter that comes across as sophomoric poeticism, or pointless rants that end with nothing won. I am a huge fan of hers, but her real fans have always known that sometimes Patti gets knee deep in her own pretentious bull ("my Blakean Year.")

    The most redeeming song on "Banga" is also one that is guilty of this same pseudo-profoundness, like Patti feels she's channeling the Koran; at least it comes across that way in a lyric which we are to find out is about Amy Winehouse, "this is the wine...of the house... it is said." It is said? This is the wine of the house, it is said? What is that even supposed to MEAN?
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2012
    8
    Patti Smith, who a few decades ago revolutionized punk rock is back with her eleventh in career, similar in style to the previous releasesPatti Smith, who a few decades ago revolutionized punk rock is back with her eleventh in career, similar in style to the previous releases album entitled "Banga". This CD inspired by the topics as among others: death, love, nature and history is the result of observation and dreams - as the she admitted. Undoubtedly a big plus is diversion of motifs presented in works, evident for ex. by "Amerigo" - which is a combination of instrumental music and sung poetry inserts - thanks to whom though the initial impression of "normal" dimension - at a later stage songs shows us their true, valuable face. Full Review »
  3. Nov 6, 2012
    8
    With some of the best songwriting of her career, Patti Smith makes a wonderful addition to her never ending list of achievements. Highlights:With some of the best songwriting of her career, Patti Smith makes a wonderful addition to her never ending list of achievements. Highlights: "Amerigo", for a perfect introduction to an album exploding with ideas. Her cover of "After the Gold Rush" (however I disagree with her children joining in at the end, sounds over the top)
    "April Fool", the best song on the record. Though Patti Smith is over 60 years old, the song's youthful yearning confirms that she will always be young at heart.
    Full Review »