Entire fourth section given to African "Music Beginning With An "beginning with an essay about Paul Simon s Graceland LP and the apartheid regime then in power in South Africa The second section about music that fits within various traditions contains my favorite Christagu essay Not So Misterioso about Thelonious Monk along with multiple pieces about Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan I am also grateful to hum for turning me on to the great Cincinnati rock band Wussy and the essay The Many Reasons To Love Wussy is a gem leading us into the final section with nods to Ornette Coleman Leonard Cohen and appropriately Enough New York The New York The academic writing style is frustrating but the enthusiasm for music keeps ou reading Such effective writing that his essays drive Catastrophe And Philosophy you to listen to artistsou would have never otherwise sought out Good collection if Christgau writings on music extra star given for essay on Franco the Congo Colossus about whom I had never read before despite enjoying his music. On from the teen music of the '50s to an art form compelled to confront mortality as its heroes pass on A final section combines searching obituaries of David Bowie Prince and Leonard Cohen with awed farewells to Bob Marley and Ornette Coleman.The so called Dean of rock criticism has been writing about music for than fifty ears though this collection is weighted from the 1990 s to the present And to call him simply a rock critic sells him short as seen in this volume with deep dives into music from the African continent doo wop old school rhythm and blues and jazz which are just old school rhythm and blues and jazz which are just important as rock n roll and play an important influential role in the rock n roll s evolution as well Christgau s influential Consumer Guide columns are not here easily found elsewhere in dog eared and creased public library volumes where I first ENCOUNTERED THEM OR ON HIS WEB SITE CURATED BY them or on his web site curated by Hull This book contains long form journalistic features probably better suited for dipping into a little bit at a time rather than reading straight through but regardless there is a wealth of information and no shortage of opinion both musical and political to be found here He divides the collection into six vaguely thematic and historical collections with nearly the. Or silly While compiling historical overviews going back to Dionysus and the gramophone along with artist analyses that range from Louis Armstrong to MIA this definitive collection also explores pop's African roots response to 911 and evoluti. .
There s no rhyme or reason TO THE HERE BUT MOST the seuencing here but these essays are good some of them are great and taken collectively they produce a funny often brutally honest picture of the Pop Music Critic who puts the rest of
them to shame I have sort of a lovehate relationship with Christgau s writing but there s noto shame I have sort of a lovehate relationship with Christgau s writing but there s no his influence over music criticism and by the way he s also heavily influenced my own work For people who labors in this field Christgau s collection is a treasure trove For anyone who simply loves pop music this is a great place to discover some new favorite records and artists Especially valuable is a lengthy section about African records an area in which Christgau is a specialist Some of the concert reviews have fairly limited value but ou can easily skip em Much of what s here is enduring and essential and its rewarding to track Christgau s He s so snobby and academic But he can also sum up songsalbumsbandsmovements in one sentence And sometimes he s even funny Christgau. Is It Still Good to Ya sums up the career of longtime Village Voice stalwart Robert Christgau who for half a century has been America's most widely respected rock critic honoring a music he argues is only enduring because it's sometimes simple.