Skip to content

Patty Smyth – It’s About Time (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Patty Smyth – It’s About Time (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 32:18 minutes | 214 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

In the music video for her recent single, the nostalgic power ballad “Drive,” the singer-songwriter Patty Smyth is seen ruminating about her childhood spent with her sister; she sings: “I found a picture of us when we were kids/Out in a field behind where we used to live.” The beautifully-shot clip combines scenes of two young girls running through a field that evokes the past, with Smyth and her real-life sister Liz in the present day.

“We went upstate [in New York] and shot it,” Smyth tells Newsweek about making the video. “I asked my sister to come and be in the video. I had this vision in my mind of being outside and free under the arc of the sky. It is sort of a metaphor of throwing off the shackles of adulthood and responsibility and going back to a time when it felt like it really was just me and her against the world. There was a time when anything was possible, and we did rule the world. It’s a joyful song, but it’s a little bittersweet.”

Patty Smyth walked away from her career in the ’90s, choosing to trade the spotlight for her family. Once her children reached adolescence, she slowly started performing again, first with a lowkey Scandal reunion in the 2000s, then with the holiday album Come On December in 2015. It wasn’t until 2020 that she returned with new original songs for the mini-LP It’s About Time. The very title suggests Smyth knows that perhaps it’s been too long since she’s delivered new material, and there’s a sense on the album that she isn’t especially interested in engaging with the music of the modern world, even if she’s eager to grapple with middle-aged emotions of bittersweet acceptance and enduring love. Sonically, It’s About Time is stuck halfway between the anthemic arena rock of Scandal and the burnished adult contemporary of “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough,” but the key to this production is that it’s neither nostalgic nor retro: this is simply Smyth’s milieu, one that showcases both the power and sensitivity of her voice. Smyth sounds convincing in either setting, building up the drama on “Only One” and letting the heartbreak of “No One Gets What They Want” simmer, which is why it’s slightly disappointing that It’s About Time concludes with covers of Tom Waits’ “Downtown Train” and Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe.” Both are good, soulful renditions but their presence highlights how It’s About Time is closer to a comeback EP than a comeback LP. Maybe it’s churlish to wish there were more originals here, but the record is strong enough to ignite that wish, which means it’s certainly a successful comeback. – Stephen Thomas Erlewine


1. Patty Smyth – Drive
2. Patty Smyth – Build a Fire
3. Patty Smyth – I’m Gonna Get There
4. Patty Smyth – Losing Things
5. Patty Smyth – No One Gets What They Want
6. Patty Smyth – Only One
7. Patty Smyth – Downtown Train
8. Patty Smyth – Ode To Billie Joe


%d bloggers like this: