Apr 12, 10
music lovers, Hornby lovers (is there a difference?)
Read on April 12, 2010, read count: 1
A couple of times a year I make myself a tape to play in the car, a tape full of all the new songs I've loved over the previous few months, and every time I finish one I can't believe they'll be another. Yet there always is, and I can't wait for the next one; you need only a few hundred more things like that, and you've got a life worth living.
I love Nick Hornby. I love his voice. And I love that he's so neurotically obsessive about the things that he loves.
Here he dissects 31 of his favorite songs. I have a hard time believing that these are his actual favorite 31 songs. I felt like they were 31 good lead-ins to 31 essays, in a way. He had some points to make about music, and these particular songs, or artists helped to illustrate them.
I was most intrigued by the song "notes." I looked up each one on You Tube so that I could hear them as I read. He listed pretty specific details on some, and it was fun to catch on to what he was talking about. I was introduced to some songs and artists I'd never heard. Some struck a chord with me, some didn't. I made a list of some I'd like to hear again. (OK music freaks, I know you want specifics...how about Rufus Wainwright doing "One Man Guy"...or "Caravan" by Van Morrison?)
Hornby here writes like a magazine music critic. He likes to explain the "why" behind a song. He reminds me of a Biology professor, carefully dissecting a frog. There's a nerd, and a poet within him.
Only three stars because there were some uninteresting parts (did I really need a whole essay about why Los Lobos makes a good boxed set, but not Stevie Nicks? Aren't boxed sets already dated anyway, in this day of digital downloads?) But there were some highs, too, including Hornby devoting an essay to the musical interests of his autistic son--a very tender moment. Love you, Nick! You can make me a mix anyday.