Jurgen Van den Brand's Reviews > Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past

Retromania by Simon Reynolds
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's review
May 11, 2011

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bookshelves: music
Read from July 03 to 10, 2011

Difficult to review, this one. Reynolds is obviously an intelligent author with a lot to say on the subject. A lot of the examples he gives on why music has become so fixated on the past instead of the future (the way it used to be) are known to me, but I'be never put them in perspective (nor could I have done that). Or connected these dots. He does in a well written manner and comes to the conclusion that the noughties were a decade where nothing new happened, musically. He calls it a situation of hyperstasis. Musicians now are using the work of "real" musicians from the first 3 decades after WWII to make "new" musis. Just like most money these days is made not by labor but by working at financial institutions.

Reynolds want to write a music history (which he does really well, if he stuck to that this would have been a 4 star review) and at the same time a philophical essay on the themes of this age. For that his theories are too light and too easy. And next to that he puts in his own experiences as a music lover and collector. Nice little personal stories but they add to the diffusion of the book.

So my conclusion would be that he tries to do too much at once. Music history is his forte (Rip It Up And Start Again is one of my favourite books on music) maybe he should have limited himself to that.

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07/03/2011 page 41
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message 1: by Drucifer (new) - added it

Drucifer that sounds like a very interesting topic. adding to my list as well.

Jurgen Van den Brand I thought so. He also tweets at http://www.twitter.com/SimonRetromania

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