Synopses & Reviews
For his 2007 critically acclaimed 33 1/3 series title, Lets Talk About Love, Carl Wilson went on a quest to find his inner Céline Dion fan and explore how we define ourselves by what we call good and bad, what we love and what we hate.
At once among the most widely beloved and most reviled and lampooned pop stars of the past few decades, Céline Dions critics call her mawkish and overblown while millions of fans around the world adore her “huge pipes” and even bigger feelings. How can anyone say which side is right?
This new, expanded edition goes even further, calling on thirteen prominent writers and musicians to respond to themes ranging from sentiment and kitsch to cultural capital and musical snobbery. The original text is followed by lively arguments and stories from Nick Hornby, Krist Novoselic, Ann Powers, Mary Gaitskill, James Franco, Sheila Heti and others.
In a new afterword, Carl Wilson examines recent cultural changes in love and hate, including the impact of technology and social media on how taste works (or doesnt) in the 21st century.
Like the whole world, I'm a fan of Carl Wilson's Celine Dion book. - Jonathan Lethem
An evergreen classic of music criticism--a love letter from a cerebral pop aesthete to the music he sincerely, almost sentimentally hates. - Rob Sheffield
Carl Wilson is a profound listener and an extraordinary writer. Along with being a tremendously important piece of criticism, Lets Talk About Love is an agile, moving, and generous exploration of the music that accompanies us, welcome or not, on the travels we all need to make on our own. It is a beautiful, funny, unerringly concise book that invites repeated readings, new conversations, and a thoughtful engagement with the culture of our time. - John K. Samson
A revised, expanded edition of Carl Wilson's classic and beloved book - now including essays and responses from a host of writers and cultural critics.
Since its publication at the end of 2007, Carl Wilsons book has become a classic of cultural criticism. In this new edition, a brand new introduction by the author is bookended by a selection of short essays from a range of prominent writers, responding to issues ranging from taste to kitsch, and from cultural capital to musical snobbery.
Céline Dion, the books subject, is widely regarded as ersatz and plastic, yet to the millions who love her, no one could be more real, with her impoverished childhood, her manager-husbands struggle with cancer, her knack for howling out raw emotion. Theres nothing cool about Céline, and nothing clever. Thats part of her appeal as an object of love or hatred — with most critics and committed music fans taking pleasure in their lofty contempt. This book documents Carl Wilsons unprecedented year-long quest to find his inner Céline Dion fan, and explores how we define ourselves in the light of what we call good and bad, what we love and what we hate.
About the Author
Carl Wilson is a writer and editor at The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, and his work also has appeared in Pitchfork, Slate, The New York Times, Blender and many other publications. His pieces were selected for two of Da Capo Books' annual Best Music Writing collections, in 2002 and 2007, by guest editors Jonathan Lethem and Robert Christgau. He runs the popular music blog Zoilus.com and is part of the team behind Trampoline Hall, Toronto's acclaimed nightclub series of lectures by non-experts, which toured America in 2002.
Table of Contents
A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER
Lets Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste
1. Lets Talk About Hate
2. Lets Talk About Pop (and Its Critics)
3. Lets Talk in French
4. Lets Talk About World Conquest
5. Lets Talk About Schmaltz
6. Lets Sing Really Loud
7. Lets Talk About Taste
8. Lets Talk About Whos Got Bad Taste
9. Lets Talk with Some Fans
10. Lets Do a Punk Version of “My Heart Will Go On” (or, Lets Talk About Our Feelings)
11. Lets Talk About Lets Talk About Love
12. Lets Talk About Love
Essays: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Carl Wilson, “Introduction”
Nick Hornby, “The Artists We Deserve”
Krist Novoselic, “With the Lights On, Its Less Useless”
Ann Powers, “If the Girls Were All Transported”
Mary Gaitskill, “The Most Obvious Thing”
Jason King, “Compared to What?”
Daphne Brooks, “Lets Talk About Diana Ross (In Memory of Trayvon Martin)”
Drew Daniel, “Deep in the Game”
Sukhdev Sandhu, “Children of the Corn”
James Franco, “Acting In and Out of Context”
Marco Roth and the Editors of n+1, “Too Much Sociology”
Jonathan Sterne, “Giving Up on Giving Up on Good Taste”
Owen Pallett, “When I Come Home”
Sheila Heti, “Playlist: Lets Listen to Love”
Carl Wilson, “Lets Talk Later”
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS