First, some backstory: I'm a music FREAK! I have somewhere around 5,000 CDs, and a list of favorites that's quite extensive. I'd much rather listen than read, but I do like books about some of the more iconic artists; Hendrix, Dylan, Joplin, Cobain...just to name a few. I was kind of late to discover the 33 1/3 series, but I was ecstatic! Here...supposedly...was a series of books more focused, about some of the really ground-breaking albums of my time. I looked forward to hearing about the artists, and the ins and outs of recording that particular title.
I was so enamored by this series, that I had a tough time picking out my first few titles. I settled on Neil Young's Harvest, Jeff Buckley's Grace, The Replacement's Let It Be...and PJ Harvey's Rid Of Me. When they arrived, I decided to start with this one; so...imagine my disappointment!
I have no one to blame but myself; I should have read the reviews more carefully. I did recall that "some" of the books weren't entirely about the artist or the recordings; that some of them "included" works of fiction..."inspired" by the record...or personal reflections moreso than the artistic process. WoW; with no disrespect meant to the author...who I'm sure is a very nice girl, and a fan...I don't know how Continuum could publish this garbage under the guise of a narrative about PJ Harvey and/or Rid Of Me!
It's pure fiction...and drivel at that (it is, admittedly, the author's "first book of fiction"...lucky us)...that has only the inspiration of the album to lend it any connection whatsoever. I don't know how Continuum goes about choosing which if these to publish, or who to write them. But seriously; was there not a critic or engineer...anyone connected with PJ and/or the recording the album that could write with some real insight? Even a song-by-song analysis...by an "amateur" fan...even Ms. Schatz...would have been better than this.
Learn from my mistake; if you want fiction, you can do much better than this...and if you want a story about PJ or the album, just look elsewhere. As for the 4 and 5-star reviews, that balance out the average and don't throw up the immediate red-flag to avoid this title; I can only assume they must be friends of Kate's. One gal said she'd never listened to the album in question? If you've never heard of it, listened to it, and aren't a fan...why seek this book out to begin with?
A shame...and a sham! Continuum...and I mean this in ALL sincerity...next time check in with me. I could do a better job. Hey, it'll be my first work of non-fiction...but at least it'll be about the RECORD!