- "Ask the Angels" (3:07)
- "Ain't It Strange?" (6:35)
- "Poppies" (7:05)
- "Pissing In A River" (4:41)
- "Pumping (My Heart)" (3:20)
- "Distant Fingers" (4:17)
- "Radio Ethiopia" (10:00)
- "Abyssinia" (2:10)
Troping In A River
- Alliterative Title: "Ask The Angels".
- Avant-Garde Music: "Radio Ethiopia", the stand-out experimental track of the record with a lot of Noise Rock and Word Salad Lyrics almost drowned out by the music.
- Break Up Song: "Pissing In A River"
- Careful with That Axe: "Ain't It Strange?" has a lot of screaming halfway.''Come on! Come on — like a dervish! Come on, God, make a move!
- Continuity Nod: Her 2004 track "Radio Baghdad" is a shout-out to this album.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The black-and-white cover.
- Drugs Are Bad: "Poppies". The poppies in question are the opium variety. Among other things, buried away in a double-tracked lyric she sings graphically about the laxative and emetic side-effect of heroin. If this were better known to non-users, what a deterrent it would be... ''"Kids! Heroin makes you shit yourself! Now do you think it's cool to do drugs?"
- Epic Rocking: The 7:05 "Poppies" and the 10:00 "Radio Ethiopia".
- Face on the Cover: Patti sitting on the floor.
- Fading into the Next Song: "Radio Ethiopia" fades into "Abyssinia".
- Garage Rock: The album has a strong garage rock sound, especially compared to her other records.
- Heavy Meta: "Ask The Angels"World ending, it's just beginningAnd rock and roll is what I'm born to beAnd it's wild wild wild wild wild wild wild wild
- Homage: The album is dedicated to French poet Arthur Rimbaud and Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncusi.
- Immediate Self-Contradiction: "Pissing In A River"I'm a slave, I'm free
- Intentionally Awkward Title: "Pissing In A River". Try telling someone that there's a poignantly beautiful, heart-wrenching torch song by that name, and they'll probably laugh at you.... until they actually listen to it.
- I Will Wait for You: "Distant Fingers"Oh, I am waiting for youWaiting for you to take me up by my starry spineOhhh, ohhh, with your distant fingers
- Location Song: "Abyssinia", which was the original name of Ethiopia.There will be no famine in my existenceI merge with the people of the hillsOh people of EthiopiaYour opiate is the air that you breatheAll those mint bushes around youAre the perfect thing for your systemAww clean clean it outYou must rid yourself from these, these animal fixationsYou must release yourselfFrom the thickening blackmail of elephantiasisYou must divide the wheat from the ratsYou must turn around (and look oh God)
- One-Word Title: "Poppies" and "Abyssinia".
- Porky Pig Pronunciation: "Pumping (My Heart)"Oh, I see you stare spi-pi-pi-pi-pi-pi (spiraling) up there and hoOh, into the center of my brain
- Precision F-Strike: "Radio Ethiopia"Oh, I feel so... ffffucked up!
- Questioning Title?: "Ain't It Strange?"
- Record Producer: Jack Douglas.
- Self-Backing Vocalist: "Poppies" at a certain point has Smith backed by herself one three different tracks, all singing different lyrics. (She does this a lot.)
When I see BrancusiHis eyes searching out the infinite abstract spacesIn the rude hands of sculptorNow gripped around the neck of a duosonic
- In the liner notes we read that the album is dedicated to Arthur Rimbaud and Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncusi. Brâncusi is also namedropped during the Title Track:
Ali is still champ!
- We also read the following shout-out in the liner notes:
Hey Sheba, hey Salome, hey Venus eclipsin' my way ah.Ah, you're a vessel —Every woman is a vesselIs evasive, is aquatic. Every one.Fuck "Radio Ethiopia"! I'm Radio Brooklyn!
- According to the liner notes "Poppies" is inspired by Edie Sedgwick note , Jim Morrison and the Queen of Sheba. The latter is also mentioned in the song, along with Salome and Venus.
- The title track also quotes Jimi Hendrix' "Power of Soul".
- Spoken Word in Music: "Poppies" has a spoken word section halfway.
- Super Speed: The start of "Pumping (My Heart)" starts with a sped up sound.
- Title Track: "Radio Ethiopia"Oh people of EthiopiaYour opiate is the air that you breathe
- Word Salad Lyrics: The album has been accused of having a lot of lyrics that don't make much sense.
- World War III: "Ask The Angels"And world war is the battle cryAnd it's wild, wild, wild, wild