Blissed Out

Simon Reynolds, Author, Bill Albert, Author Serpent's Tail $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-85242-199-1
Prince, Nick Cave, Front 242, Throwing Muses, punk, acid house, soul--these are the names and trends that resonate throughout this collection of essays on pop music, written mostly for London's Melody Maker . Reynolds lets their vibration speak clearly through his eclectic writing style, mixing journalism with literary theory. It makes for a sometimes engaging, sometimes sluggish read. The interviews with pop music personalities are fascinating; something unexpected always crops up in these conversations. In his interview with Nick Cave, the author asks, ``Do you resent the arbitrary power that beautiful people have?'' and the sardonic singer replies, ``Perhaps you could lighten up a little bit.'' But when Reynolds steps onto a political podium for a monologue, things slow down and become polemical: ``Pop's power, its danger and its crime, consist in its overstimulation of desires for pleasure and for self-aggrandizement: desires constructed by capitalism.'' Such passages constitute the thrust of Reynolds's music theory, which occasionally reduces Foucault, Kristeva148-149 and Barthes to mere mouthpieces for socialism. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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