With the huge success of Reynold's first dissection of modern music's bad lyrics I HATE MYSELF AND WANT TO DIE: THE 52 MOST DEPRESSING SONGS YOU'VE EVER HEARD there was bound to be an encore and this fascinating read doesn't disappoint. In Touch Me, I'm Sick Reynolds tackles those songs about love, but not the mutually consenting romantic love, no these songs are about obsessive stalking, sleeping with kids, sleeping with parents, pleasuring yourself, jilted lovers, bad break ups as well as basically anything else that you'd be serving serious jail time or even get the chair if the lyrics were real.
The amazing thing is many of these songs are highly popular and requested to be played and set the mood at inappropriate places like wedding receptions and graduations. Which means those who request these songs for these occasions are either sick in the head or have never actually listened to the lyrics and do not know what they are actually about.
Most of these songs spent time in the top ten of the UK or US charts (Reynolds tells you at the start of the dissection of each song) and there's also a few you may not have heard of. Even with the ones you've never heard of Reynolds gives a detailed account of what the song is about then tells the reader why it is creepy. For those of us who were not around in the 70's or earlier when some of these songs were hits you'll also learn interesting facts such as I never knew Michael Jackson's Ben was being sung to an injured human flesh eating rat.
Tom Reynolds certainly is a very funny writer, you'll be laughing out loud at many an observation such as on Paula Cole (p145 if you've got this with you) "She doesn't just have issues, she has lifetime subscriptions". On You're Beautiful by James Blunt (p69) being one of the most requested songs at weddings "makes absolutely no sense because it's about a guy who's too stoned to approach a girl he saw for a few seconds on a subway platform and so he just repeats over and over again how beautiful she is but won't ever see her again" On you're body is a Wonderland by John Mayer "he reassures her that he'll never let her head hit the bed without my hand behind it. I'm completely at a loss as to what this means other than the girl is a pillow chasing nut who likes to ram her skull into the headboard" (p92). These are just three examples of the gems of dissection you'll find in here. His dissection of the life of Kevin Federline is also a must read.
The whole book is actually a must read for any fan of music especially the lyrics. Artists who appear inside include Air Supply, Kylie Minogue, The Offspring, The Beatles (and Reynolds recount of a chat room conversation with a Lennon fan nut who blames every bad Beatles thing on Paul is hilarious), The Police, Pearl Jam, Jennifer Lopez, George Michael, Divinyls, Fergie, Christina Aguilera, Sarah McLaughlan, Alanis Morissette, Sinead O'Connor, Eminem, Jewel, Radiohead, Melissa Etheridge and Motley Crue.
Can't wait for the next dissecting music book by Reynolds, if it's even half as good as the first two I won't be disappointed. By the way although it is no doubt a different person a similarly written book by an author of the same name on being a paramedic Blood, Sweat & Tea: Real-Life Adventures in an Inner-City Ambulance is also very, very good!