Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-First Century

Simon Reynold. Faber & Faber, $15.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-227980-4
Rock historian Reynolds (Rip It Up) explores the genre that first shaped his perceptions of pop: glam rock, or, as it’s sometimes known in the U.S., glitter. Reynolds takes a broad view of what glam encompasses, investigating its roots in soul, teeny-bop, and other disparate genres while also charting the careers of icons such as Bowie, T. Rex., and Roxy Music. His investigation, however, is hampered by his apparent hesitance to tackle difficult subjects (such as race) head-on; he veers in for casual mentions of cultural appropriation within glam culture, only to shy away from the intense analysis such a topic deserves. As wide and deep as his net is cast—he touches on Buddhist philosophy and the 1970s gay liberation movement—Reynolds seems at sea when it comes to discussing gender-variant identities, going off on several peculiar tangents. Reynolds is more at home when breaking down the concept of authenticity and defending the “fake” persona as art form, but even that leads to an off-putting set of observations about Dr. Luke’s abuse of Kesha—the last in a series of cringeworthy rhetorical snippets that mar an otherwise intriguing text. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/22/2016
Release date: 10/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-247208-3
Ebook - 704 pages - 978-0-06-227981-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-5047-3551-3
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