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.
I bought this when it came out, I was going through a crap time having split up with my partner & living in a bedsit etc etc (GLUM). I had been a fan of Patti for many years but had given up on her making more albums it had been so long and her last one was the only one I hated (Dream of Life). This album came like a bolt of lightning into my life - it totally inspired me, healed my wounds, lifted me right up and gave be a swift kick up the arse! Thanks for existing Patti Smith - I LOVE YOU! - This is one of her best albums, right up there with 'Horses' - 'Wave' & 'Peace & Noise'! 'Gone Again' - 'Beneath the Southern Cross' - 'About A Boy' & 'Wicked Messenger' are the high points for me. I bet Dylan was well proud - (re the latter!) 10 out of 10
I agree with the above reviews: this is indeed a very special recording, raw, undiluted and direct. Loss has never been more directly imported into popular music and yet, yet!, there's always a glimmer not of hope but of a no less raw life force that gathers strength throughout the songs. What's most surprising is that the reality of loss and the sense of daring go hand-in-hand, never suppressing each other but becoming supportive in a forward-looking momentum. Plus, it's darn good rock music unlike most other. Quite awesome music, really.
Gone Again is the brilliant 1996 comeback album that overwhelmed me since it contains everything I've always loved about Smith's music and that I find lacking in subsequent works like Peace and 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 favorites are the four beautiful & tuneful ballads Dead To The World, Ravens, the folkie Farewell Reel, and Beneath The Southern Cross on which John Cale plays the organ & Jeff Buckley (R.I.P.) contributes backing vocals; on Fireflies he plays an exotic Indian stringed instrument. I love her powerful interpretation of Dylan's Wicked Messenger. Slow atmospheric songs like About A Boy, My Madrigal and Fireflies are representative of the other main style of this album.
All the magical ingredients are here: poetic, inspired lyrics, great soaring melodies and that visceral, soul-wrenching voice of hers, plus the passionate playing of the band. The musicians include Tom Verlaine on guitar, Jay Dee Daugherty on drums, Lenny Kaye on guitars and Kimberly Smith on mandolin. Gone Again is definitely one of the Top 10 rock albums of the 1990s, and ranks among her best work ever - up there next to Horses and Easter. The CD booklet contains the lyrics and portraits of Patti and Fred Sonic Smith.