trampin' - Patti Smith

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. 100
    In a way, Trampin' is to this decade what Horses was to the '70s: a repudiation of its time, and the promise of a way forward. [Apr 2004, p.98]
  2. Trampin' has her sounding revitalized, her contagious energy striking sparks off her longtime musical collaborators.
  3. Smith's vision is as rapturous as ever, and it receives its most focused, impassioned treatment here.
  4. No, she hasn't regained her sense of humor, but aren't you fast losing yours?
  5. Reaches heights of lyrical grace... but also sinks into pretentious polemics. [30 Apr 2004, p.161]
  6. 83
    At 57, Smith can still find the ecstatic in the everyday, and she's no longer adrift in the mandolin wind. [May 2004, p.109]
  7. Despite the overbearing subject matter of war, morality and protest "Trampin'" doesn't feel like a particularly heavy album.
  8. This is a brooding, thoughtful work, a band stripped bare, naked music and raw emotion, beautifully sung and played with the command of a band that knows less is more is the key to great rock'n'roll.
  9. Not surprisingly, Trampin' is a largely political album, but it is far from a didactic one.
  10. A brooding collection. [May 2004, p.108]
  11. Smith's approach to the bellicosity post 9/11 contains - surprisingly for someone so full of piss and thunder - a fair amount of faith, hope and pleas for tolerance.
  12. At 57 Ms. Smith has made the most diverse music of her career.
  13. Trampin'... is not a flashy album, and sometimes what's meant to be stately is sluggish instead. But though the revolutionary jolt of her early work is in abeyance, her fire still burns.
  14. Trampin' is Smith at her most deferential: She looks to figures like Gandhi, King, Anderson, and even Bob Dylan on "Stride of the Mind" for spiritual guidance. While this approach may be valid and even occasionally compelling, for the most part it robs the album of most of its urgency and dulls its outrage.
  15. 70
    For years, Smith has excelled in her profession as rock's great heroine; at its best, Trampin' sounds more like leisure time, but it still pays off. [May 2004, p.132]
  16. Trampin' is an improvement on Gung Ho, Smith's previous release, if only because she hasn't sounded this committed and politically charged in years.
  17. 60
    When Trampin' doesn't work, though, it plods, though never as badly as the worst bits of Gung Ho. [May 2004, p.94]
  18. It's the modest, more melodic songs that triumph.
  19. While Smith's voice teases out unexpected depth from quotidian phrases and familiar, all-too-justified outrage with current American politics, the band's music can't do the same with the vintage rock riffs recycled here.
  20. Trampin' hardly counts as a misstep, but it's her least impressive showing since her return.
  21. Trampin' is much too formulaic, too willing to leave the power of Smith's songwriting in words and not back it up musically.
  22. A dull, clunky, unjustifiably smug AOR rock album: no more, no less. [#243, p.71]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. steveg
    Nov 14, 2004
    This is the best CD I've heard this year. She's an old fav of mine though I haven't particularly been into her lately. Great writing. Beautiful slow songs and some fine rockers. Ghandi is a classic. I'm much more a fan of live music than CDs and she kicks it live, too. Get this CD if you like the cerebral and the rockin'! Full Review »
  2. TerryD
    May 16, 2004
    Sorry - don't care, don't care, don't care. Some of this album is "nice" - so what? Give me "Horses" or any of the first three albums anyday. Patti, you really went down the wrong road when you "learned to sing". The spirituality makes me want to vomit. The whole record sounds pretentious to me, certainly not personal like "Horses". I don't need to be preached to! Full Review »
  3. JDaly
    May 2, 2004
    One of her best...ranks up there with Radio Ethiopia and Gone Again, just a bit below Horses