Gung Ho - Patti Smith
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. A collection of hypnotic, human rock & roll that extols such seemingly antiquated virtues as moral fiber, history, and love as spirituality.
  2. The album's producer, Gil Norton (whose crescendos for the Pixies were an alternative-rock cornerstone), has subtly filled out the sound of the Patti Smith Group without losing its handmade, jamming essence. Guitar tones resonate through the mix, and new lines snake through what used to be hollow space.
  3. Gung Ho feels like it's operating slightly outside the constraints of time, as if it were simultaneously a product of the past four decades and a look back at them from a vantage point far in the future.
  4. Smith has released her most direct and, not coincidentally, hardest-rocking album since 1978's Easter.
  5. Easily the icon's strongest, most satisfying effort since her '78 classic "Easter," "Gung Ho" is, by turns, wistfully poetic and sharply observational.
  6. 80
    Of her three post-"comeback" albums, it is the closest in spirit to her '70s work. And not coincidentally, it may be her best.
  7. Smith's latest CD, Gung Ho, is the most socially relevant album to come along in eons, pointing rock back towards its ambitious past when it once attempted to affect social change.
  8. Smith veers from anthems to open-ended jams to downright funky ditties.... her voice is still rich with power and conviction and fresh with vigor and life.
  9. Even at its slickest moments, Gung Ho is worthwhile, not only for Smith's lyrics but for her soulful vocals. At 53, she sounds much like the jazz vocalists who develop and train their voices as they age.
  10. 70
    The album lacks nothing in substance, but in edge it could use a jolt.
  11. 70
    Smith's third album since her mid-'90s comeback, might be a more orderly affair than one might have hoped for, but she's still capable of wreaking a little havoc.
  12. Another handsome, shaded, and satisfying work from an artist that has reconnected with her muse.
  13. It's a terrible pity: when she stops politicising like a councillor on a complementary therapy summer camp, there's music here that's full of the febrile commitment and unashamed passion that marked her out as a valid icon in 1975.
  14. 50
    The music, particularly Lenny Kaye's guitars, can be both gritty and lush, but it mainly functions to uplift the words and hold them closer to the ears. The problem here is that Patti's got our attention but her couplets are too often second-rate.
  15. On Gung Ho-- much like 1996's Gone Again and 1999's Peace and Noise-- Patti and the band aren't exactly bad, but they hardly rock like they did back in '77.... when you listen to Gung Ho and forget about myth, legacy, mystique and all that crap, you have to wonder-- does Patti Smith really matter anymore?
  16. Despite the presence of original Patti Smith Group members Lenny Kaye and Jay Dee Daugherty, this lacks the buzz of her past material.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. KevinT
    Dec 3, 2003
    10
    I think that Gung Ho is a fine CD and, personally, I don't think there's a bad track on it. In fact, I think it's her most I think that Gung Ho is a fine CD and, personally, I don't think there's a bad track on it. In fact, I think it's her most complete recording. I recommend that people go and purchase this. It's a nice antidote to some of the purile crap ( often lauded by critics ) lurking out there. Full Review »