Rolling Stone - p.723 stars out of 5
- "[This album] is perhaps her most human....TRAMPIN' opens with the natural and strikingly straightforward 'Jubilee'..."
Rolling Stone - p.151
Included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Records Of 2004 - "[H]er best album since returning to active duty in the Nineties."
Spin - p.109
"Smith can still find the ecstatic in the everyday, and she's no longer adrift in the mandolin wind." - Grade: B+
Uncut - 5/04, p.943 stars out of 5
- "No one else can summon up such visionary, elemental weariness, with a voice that echoes within the deep well of shared human experience."
Mojo (Publisher) - 4/04, p.965 stars out of 5
- "Throughout TRAMPIN', she evokes and explicitly summons Great Spirits of art, music, spirituality and insurrection, as if she's forming a holy militia, a combined force for good and inspiration."
Paste (magazine) - "A gentle folk-fueled ballad, 'Peaceable Kingdom,' finds Smith at her passionate best, subtly praying for a Rousseau-serene world-peace setting..."
Personnel: Patti Smith (vocals); Lenny Kaye, Oliver Ray (guitar); Jesse Smith (piano); Tony Shanahan (keyboards, bass); Jay Dee Daugherty (drums).
Recorded at Loho Studios, New York, New York.
Like Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Bob Marley, there is something quintessentially pure--something musically and morally urgent-- about Patti Smith's musical personality. As a poetic powerhouse and punk phenomenon, Smith has been one of rock's most individual and influential performers since her 1975 watershed debut, HORSES, flouting convention at every turn.
TRAMPIN' heralds Smith's debut on Columbia, and is at once a timely, beautifully realized document and true to her legacy as the queen of punk expression. Though not entirely devoid of revved-up rockers ("Stride of the Mind"), the album's strength is in the intricacy of tracks such as "Cartwheels" and the gently lilting "Mother Rose." The artist's spoken word narratives are also prominent here ("Gandhi," "Radio Baghdad"); these are filled with implicit commentary on history, war, and global issues. The lyrics never preach, however, and Smith's vision is ultimately an enlightened, humanitarian one, as heard most powerfully on the superb "My Blakean Year," the achingly hopeful "Peaceable Kingdom," and the haunting title track. TRAMPIN' is less "punk" in the musical definition of the word than in its deeper, more significant meaning: Smith's voice is a conscience-driven cry bent on making itself heard against all odds.