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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wake-up call., 27 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to its Own Past (Paperback)
Dismissed in some quarters as a groan stemming from a mid-life crisis, Reynolds does in fact point out what others lack the courage to point out - that pop/rock has for some time failed to move forward and has become little more than a cannibaliser of its own history. Reynolds does this with considerable aplomb, trawling over a wide range of popular music forms while tipping his hat to a number of theorists. Having taken the view that pop/rock stopped progressing once punk came on the scene, Reynolds shows this not to have been the case. On this score alone, the book was of some benefit to me and I look forward to reading his earlier book on post-punk. One absence I noticed in the book was any sustained examination of music professionals - music writers, radio DJ's and so on - and their silence about Reynolds' core issue. It strikes me that vested interests prevent them from owning up to the obvious: that if someone's 'record of the week' sounds like it was recorded 40 years ago, we have a problem. Paul Jones continues to play blues records that show absolutely no development/extension of the form; Mojo and Uncut (mentioned briefly by Reynolds) function as curators rather than - as with the old NME - cutting edge promulgators of the new; and most reviews of 'new' music are unable to resist comparisons with other bands. Yet, no-one says bugger all about it, or not publicly. It's to Reynolds credit that he has. An important book and a compelling read.
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