Synopses & Reviews
Best Music Writing has become one of the most eagerly awaited annuals of them all. Celebrating the year in music writing by gathering a rich array of essays, missives, and musings on every style of music from rock to hip-hop to R&B to jazz to pop to blues, it is essential reading for anyone who loves great music and accomplished writing. Scribes of every imaginable sortnovelists, poets, journalists, musicians are gathered to create a multi-voiced snapshot of the year in music writing that, like the music it illuminates, is every bit as thrilling as it is riveting.
"As Ross, New Yorker music critic, points out in his introduction, all music is subcultural and no music is everywhere beloved; thus, he and Carr chose pieces that lead the reader into an unfamiliar realm or mark new paths on well-trod ground pieces that assume no prior knowledge, only a spark of curiosity. Written by both well-known critics like Geoffrey O'Brien, Wendy Lesser, and Kelefa Sanneh as well as by lesser-known writers such as Morad Mansouri, Jessica Hopper, and Amy Klein, the pieces range widely over classical, jazz, rock, and country music and often challenge boundaries of traditional genres. In his search for the heart of country music in 'Nashville Skyline,' CMT editorial director Chet Flippo dryly remarks that looking for the heart and soul of country music these days is like studying a tornado's path; the music, the artists, and the audience are all over the map. NPR's music critic Ann Powers elegantly mines Wagner's opera Das Rheingold for its similarities to pop music in 'A Pop Music Critic Takes on the Ring,' while New Yorker critic James Wood offers a paean to the Who's drummer, Keith Moon, and Moon's disregard for the principles of drumming 'The first principle of Moon's drumming was that drummers do not exist to keep the beat.' These collected pieces offer a soulful anthem to the vibrancy of music writing today." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews, 10/15/11
“Maintaining the series’ high standard…A great incentive to fire up Spotify, or even the old stereo.”
Publishers Weekly, 10/3/11 “These collected pieces offer a soulful anthem to the vibrancy of music writing today.”
Twelfth in the acclaimed series of annual collections celebrating the best writing on every style of music, from rock to hip-hop, R&B to jazz, pop to blues, and more
About the Author
is a music critic for the New Yorker
and the author of the acclaimed bestseller The Rest Is Noise
. He lives in New York City.
Daphne Carr is a music scholar and the author of Pretty Hate Machine. She lives in New York City.