From Publishers Weekly
Prince, Nick Cave, Front 242, Throwing Muses, punk, acid house, soul--these are the names and trends that resonate throughout this collection of essays on pop music, written mostly for London's Melody Maker . Reynolds lets their vibration speak clearly through his eclectic writing style, mixing journalism with literary theory. It makes for a sometimes engaging, sometimes sluggish read. The interviews with pop music personalities are fascinating; something unexpected always crops up in these conversations. In his interview with Nick Cave, the author asks, "Do you resent the arbitrary power that beautiful people have?" and the sardonic singer replies, "Perhaps you could lighten up a little bit." But when Reynolds steps onto a political podium for a monologue, things slow down and become polemical: "Pop's power, its danger and its crime, consist in its overstimulation of desires for pleasure and for self-aggrandizement: desires constructed by capitalism." Such passages constitute the thrust of Reynolds's music theory, which occasionally reduces Foucault, Kristeva148-149 and Barthes to mere mouthpieces for socialism.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Simon Reynolds and Joy Press are married and live in New York. Joy Press is the literary editor of the VLS, the literary supplement to the Village Voice. Simon Reynolds is the author of Blissed Out.