Music » CD Reviews

Patti Smith and Kevin Shields

The Coral Sea (Pask)

by

comment

My Bloody Valentine mastermind Kevin Shields and punk priestess Patti Smith undress for their collaborative CD, The Coral Sea. Shields breaks free from his studio fixations, which typically find him laboring over things like the color of microphone filters; Smith bares her soul like she's never done before. Culled from two live performances in London from 2005 and 2006, The Coral Sea is Smith's tribute to friend and collaborator Robert Mapplethorpe. Reading a poem she penned for the late photographer (who shot the striking cover of Smith's debut, Horses), Smith's incantatory lines recall her early spoken-word opuses. Possessed by emotion, she bleakly details Mapplethorpe's battle with AIDS. Meanwhile, Shields remains fascinated by the concept of sound, shifting moods and changing textures; his guitar and effects run the gamut from eye-glazing hypnotic to knifelike stark. At times, his sonic flourishes transform already visceral moments into something profoundly personal. It's like eavesdropping on the private wake of somebody you don't know and watching as friends and family passionately lament the departed. — Ryan Foley

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.