Patti Smith – Dream of Life Arista AL-8453 (1988)
Like almost any that could be named, this album could have been better. The muted and slightly tinny 80s production values aren’t a help, and replacing the keyboards with more guitar would have been an improvement by giving things more of an edge. But what is here is a pretty fine batch of songs (especially “People have the Power,” “Paths That Cross,” and “Looking for You (I Was)”). Patti’s vocals are strong and Fred “Sonic” Smith lays down some good lead guitar. Not a bad album by any means, and unfairly derided by some fans. The key to enjoying this is to allow Patti the range to make pop music, not just punk rock.