Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Review: Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life

Not sure what to do with this one. It starts off as a predictably solipsistic memoir about how the author, Steve Almond, is a "Drooling Fanatic" when it comes to music. It's often funny and somehow absorbing, even though the closest our music tastes come to overlapping is the fact that he has a chapter about Joe Henry and two They Might Be Giants references. Maybe what bothers me most is that I have this requirement that music has to be About Something to work for me, and Almond's version of "something" is fundamentally different from mine. I've had enough embarrassing Drooling Fanatics moments on my own to relate to the ones he describes, and the book describes more substantial experiences of his as it goes on (marriage, kids, cultural crossovers) but at the end of the day there's a hanging superficiality to it all. However, I can't put my finger on exactly what it is. Despite my reservations, it's a four-minute pop-song of a read, and I needed something like that at this point in the academic year, so ultimately I have to say thanks for the book.

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