cover image The Words of Every Song

The Words of Every Song

Liz Moore, . . Broadway, $12.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-7679-2642-3

A series of vignettes depicting aspiring artists, hustling executives, the alternative underground and stage parents, the debut by Brooklyn singer-songwriter Moore misses the high mark it aspires to. Her characters, painted in broad strokes, follow the conventions of their type and are variously connected by corporate behemoth Titan Records. Theo, a talent scout in his mid-20s desperate to prove his legitimacy, discovers the Burn, a band that could be the next big thing. His aching self-importance is juxtaposed against the cool calm of Siobhan, the band's singer, who harbors deep pain rooted in her mother's death and Kurt Cobain's suicide. The Burn tours as the opening act for Titan's superstar Tommy Mays, who struggles to balance new fatherhood with life on the road. Several loose plot lines are woven throughout, but discovering how each character relates to the others provides the narrative's only consistent enticement, though to diminishing returns. By sacrificing a degree of realism, however, Moore comes close to creating a fantasyland where anything is possible. While the gimmicks overpower the work, there are moments that hint at Moore's novelistic ability. (July)