3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Retro - fit! (ouch),
This review is from: Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to its Own Past (Paperback)
I came to this book after hearing a lot of criticism that in it Reynolds was making the argument that there's nothing new in music and that we're just eating our own past. After finishing the book I can't believe how wrong those critics are. Yes, Reynolds does point out the unique position of western music culture at this point in history, but he accounts for it with a certain amount of inevitability in that we are now so exposed to our musical past via YT, the overabundance of reissues etc that we can't help looking back - he also suggests that looking back is endemic to the human condition. RETROMANIA also makes a great case for how the past has been used to stimulate genuinely innovative contemporary musical creations, and that it is our technological advancements (which might not be the same ones us fiftysomethings were encouraged to believe via episodes of THE JETSONS) which have made this possible.
There are many moments in this book which made me nod my head in agreement - I found the passages on BOARDS OF CANADA's triggering of potentially fake memories particularly interesting - and being a fan of the 'hauntology' movement it was good to see its recognition in the musical canon.
Only 4 stars because like others I was distracted by the author's occasional digressions, and also while I loved the book I couldn't help thinking how much relevance a 20 year old would find in it.