Patti Smith is the high priestess of NY Punk. In a world where Avril Lavigne and Christina Aguilera are considered rebellious, thank god Patti can still come around and remind them they’re not. I would love to see these MTV darlings go on TRL and proclaim that, “Jesus died for someone’s sins, but not mine.” That was the opening line of Smith’s iconic 1974 release, Horses. Thirty years on, Patti is using Trampin’ as a sounding board for an American revolution of a different kind.

From the first guitar riff, you know the album is gonna rock. The opening track “Jubilee,” is a bit of a barnyard stomp with Patti in a two tone chant declaring, “We will never fade away /Doves shall multiply /Yet I see hawks circling the sky.” The band underscores Patti’s fading utopian dreams with a psychedelic jam of tight blues and swirling guitars.

In “My Blakean Year,” Patti pays homage to every Beat poet’s hero William Blake. The minimal guitar scratching and deliberate underproduction is brilliant. Patti fades out with the repeating lines, “Embrace all that you fear /For joy shall conquer all despair /In my Blakean year.”

The centerpiece of the LP is clearly the 12min 17sec “Radio Baghdad.” Here her band lays down an eerie backdrop of ghostly reverb and tribal percussion to Smith’s poetry slam. As the track picks up momentum, Smith’s determined voice will run chills up your spine. She howls, “We are just your Arabian nightmare /We created the zero /But we mean nothing to you.” The symbiotic balance that Smith enjoys with her band is without doubt, the tightest she has ever achieved. At one point Patti is so fired up, you wonder if her head is just going to explode, as she yells, “Shock and awe, shock and awe, like some TV show.” The track fades out with the repeated mantra, “They're robbing the cradle of civilization” and finally concludes with the sound advice, “Suffer not the paralysis of your neighbor /Suffer not but extend your hand.”

Compared to Patti Smith, today’s lock-jawed pop stars have nothing to convey. In today’s market, if you step out of line, you may never sell another album. To say that Trampin’ is as important a work to the current generation as Horses was to the Baby Boomers, is not an understatement. However, after seeing the best minds of her generation destroyed by madness and the current generation destroyed by fear, I wonder if anyone will notice.

Download These: Jubilee; Gandhi; Radio Baghdad