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PATTI SMITH & KEVIN SHIELDS
- The Coral Sea (2008)
Recorded over two nights at the Royal Festival Hall in 2005 and 2006, The Coral Sea is Patti Smith's eulogy to her great friend, Robert Mapplethorpe, who took the famous photo that adorned her Horses album; he died of Aids-related complications in 1989. Smith tells the story of Mapplethorpe's mythical voyage to see the stars of the Southern Cross before he dies. Her words have the fire and focus of her greatest work as she strles with the bitter truth that such a breathtaking talent could be so cruelly extinguished. Kevin Shields has recently been boosting demand for earplugs with his My Bloody Valentine live shows, but here he is perfectly restrained, supplying sounds and textures to a gripping, if demanding, two-hour listen. When the sounds suddenly stop, the silence yields to Smith's dazzling language and the power of enduring platonic love. The live album has no tracklist; it consists of Smith’s spoken word performance accompanied by Shields on "guitars and effects," according to a press release.
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