This brilliant 1996 return by Patti Smith overwhelmed me since it contains everything that I've always loved about her music, and that I find lacking in the subsequent Peace & Noise and Gung Ho. Although many of the songs are about loss, the overall mood is one of transcendence and strength in adversity, as encapsulated in the lines: "Dead to the world/Alive I awoke."
My favourites are the four beautiful ballads Dead To The World, Ravens, Beneath The Southern Cross and the very folky Farewell Reel. Everything that makes her music great is here: poetic, inspired lyrics, great soaring melodies and that visceral, soul-wrencing voice of hers, plus the passionate playing of the band.
The players include John Cale on organ, Tom Verlaine on guitar, Jay Dee Daugherty on drums, Lenny Kaye on drums and Kimberly Smith on mandolin, PLUS Jeff Buckley (R.I.P.) on backing vocals. "Gone Again" is definitely one of the Top 5 rock albums of the 90s, and ranks among her best work ever - up there next to Horses and Easter.