• Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Apr 24, 2007
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. A bluesy, psychedelic witches' brew that feels like one long, complex incantation to keep us safe, to make us see there is indeed some kinda way out of here.
  2. Not everything dazzles, but it’s truly shocking what does.
  3. Smith's rock poet muse is certainly alive on most cuts, her deep voice declaiming, yipping, soaring, and investing old lyrics with fresh dignity and rhythm.
  4. Full of slow burning passion and emotion, Twelve is magnificent.
  5. Smith shifts much of her focus subtly away from the instrumentation and toward a song's intention and lyrics, with often revelatory results.
  6. Her most purely enjoyable album since 1978's Easter. [May 2007, p.120]
  7. Remember that concept album Tori Amos did that was supposed to reclaim all those male-oriented anthems from their blowhard XY carriers? Smith paints over Amos’ tedious version and executes the idea so much better, without even bragging that she’s doing it.
  8. 70
    Several of the songs seem performed out of affection rather than any sense of artistic adventure. [May 2007, p.90]
  9. It's somewhat hit-or-miss. But when Smith hits, it isn't just a bull's-eye -- the arrow splits the apple and then brings down the bad guy hiding behind the tree.
  10. Smith and her trusty band largely strip arrangements bare, lyrical and emotional content taking center stage. [28 Apr 2007]
  11. She sounds more relevant on these songs than she has in years.
  12. 60
    All too earnest. [May 2007, p.105]
  13. It may not be revolutionary—in fact, if anything, it’s too safe to feel any impulse to disagree with it—but Smith’s conviction is apparent, and her commitment is respectable.
  14. 60
    Although the album is marred by its over-consistent tone, almost any one of these songs taken in isolation--played of the closing credits of The Sopranos, say--would rightfully be hailed as a lost classic. [May 2007, p.118]
  15. More Pete Seeger than Cat Power, her interpretations sometimes feel too internalized to startle. [May 2007, p.61]
  16. There is nothing radical or daring about the faithfully rendered tunes we find on Twelve.
  17. Twelve is a solid enough collection, but one can’t help wondering if it would’ve been better had she made like Fellini and called it 8 1/2.
  18. It appears Patti Smith could've benefited from an outside observer when choosing songs.
  19. Almost nothing here evokes Smith's old "Go, Rimbaud!" chutzpah. [27 Apr 2007, p.139]
  20. While Twelve's not an unlistenable record by any stretch of the imagination, it just begs the question: What's the point? [Jun 2007, p.158]
  21. At worst, Smith sounds like a bar singer bashing out oldies for the Saturday-night crowd. But at best, she pours herself into the songs.
  22. 40
    Patti Smith misplaces her fearless edge. [May 2007, p.90]
  23. It's not a particularly dazzling array of songs, and she seldom veers from form.
  24. These songs are rendered so faithfully they may as well be karaoke.
  25. The problem with Twelve isn't the staid song selection so much as this dogged insistence on staying faithful to the originals.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. RayP
    Jul 29, 2007
    9
    Some of these reviews are totally off the mark. How anyone can claim a banjo version of Smells Like Teen Spirit is sticking too close to the Some of these reviews are totally off the mark. How anyone can claim a banjo version of Smells Like Teen Spirit is sticking too close to the original is beyond me. Full Review »
  2. andym
    May 2, 2007
    7
    First off, to address "Todd W," this album is NOT patti smith's comeback...her comeback started with the fantastic "Gone Again." First off, to address "Todd W," this album is NOT patti smith's comeback...her comeback started with the fantastic "Gone Again." She's not starting her comeback here, at all. Anyway, the album is just so-so. There are a few songs that stand out (smells like teen spirit being the best example), but most don't have the same charm or magic of her other covers (gloria, Privilege, etc). It's nice to listen to - but nowhere near as great as an original album. Full Review »
  3. JohnP
    Apr 23, 2007
    10
    Beyond good, absolutely fascinating. Not just a covers record, but something so alive and wonderful it could be the best album of 2007.