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Song Reader Hardcover – December 11, 2012
"Sing to Me" by LA Reid
My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who's Next | Check out "Sing to Me".
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"Visually sumptuous A bold artistic challenge and a madcap creative gauntlet in a pop-culture landscape that favors instant gratification."American Way
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Top Customer Reviews
The contents of this 'album' are on high quality paper with color artwork. I thought this was going to be more like a song book, but its a collection of individual sheet music, and its well done. 20 songs, plus a variety of 'bonus' material filling out the sheets, will keep you busy. I haven't read sheet music in a long time. While I may not be able to play some of the songs, at a minimum I can read the chords. If you get stuck, its just a matter of time before readers release a SoundCloud or YouTube track to kickstart your musical process.
I gave this four stars because I've had tons of fun learning and recording these songs. While I can't say I like all the songs, I feel like I got my money's worth, both in the physical package and overall entertainment value.
I'm not sure what non-musicians would 'do' with Song Reader, perhaps other reviewers will comment on what led them to purchase it. I'm not a collector of 'fan' material so I don't know if this would be interesting to a long-time Beck fan or not. It will be interesting to see how long the Song Reader buzz lasts.
You can listen to or submit your Youtube or SoundCloud recordings of songs at the official site:
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|Length: 2:44 Mins|
I'd highly recommend this if you're a Beck fan (especially if you liked Mutations), and even if you don't plan to play the songs, and even if you're not a musician. Like some pieces by Erik Satie, there is a lot in the sheet music for you to appreciate as you follow along. Artwork, whimsical instruction (e.g. the tempo marking for "Do We? We Do" is "Rhetorically") and quips, etc.
There are loads - tons - of unfinished thoughts here also, in addition to the twenty songs. Many of the sheets contain "ads" for other songs, which are all cut short. It will be interesting to hear how others finish these. There is a "hidden track" - the ad behind "Last Night You Were a Dream" is a complete song, with a similar melody and chords.
The packaging is excellent, very well made. The songs come as individual sheets, much like you would have found them back in the day. Most are written for piano and voice, with guitar tabs on top (a surprising number of songs with ukelele tabs instead). There are two songs ("The Last Polka" and "Mutilation Rag") that are written for piano only, with no chords. Loads of thought went into the artwork and the ads, all very retro Tin Pan Alley in style.
It'd be great if other artists did this, maybe less as a retro-style project and more as a regular, present-day occurrence.
The songs? Mostly very good. A few are difficult (the one in 7/4, for example), a few are a little uninspired, but about half of them are REALLY good. Beck has reigned in his impulse towards excessively surreal lyrics, for the most part, in an attempt to make them more approachable. You can find online YouTube versions, but most of the interpretations I've checked out are not very impressive. If you are a musician, try them out yourself. More fun than a barrel of sea monkeys!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Once again, Beck is a genius! One of my favorite purchases of all time!Published 3 months ago by Laural Davis
This was a gift for a musically inclined friend and he loved it. Each song is it's own individual sheet music. The art is terrific and in some cases very humorous. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Edward Luegers
What a wonderful way to experience Beck's music, by having you play it. I love the extra songs on the back of each song sheet. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Tbone
Beck has written these songs to mirror the sheet music that, in days yore, everyone went to music stores to buy and then played on piano, guitar or ukelele. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Fernandina Nina
My son and professional musician found this book wonderful addition to his extensive library. He is still explring the pieces and finding new ways to play them - including a... Read morePublished 22 months ago by J. Putnam