Patti Smith has never been one to shy away from issues, and at 57, her vitriol is as strong as ever. "Radio Baghdad" recounts the cultural and technical achievements of the Iraqi culture before expressing "shock and awe" at the hawks' "robbing the cradle of civilization." That song's rage is balanced by the soft vocals and optimism of "Peaceable Kingdom" and the old spiritual "Trampin'." Smith also pays homage to heroes like William Blake; "My Blakean Year" is haunted by Lenny Kaye's guitar and the song easily recalls the surrealism of the '60s.
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