Carl Wilson's fascinating study of music, taste, and reputation will defy your preconceptions on music writing. First of all, Wilson loathes Celine Dion's music. But he sets out to explore why. Is musical preference personal or social? How does cultural capital and "coolness" play into our musical tastes. How can you hate music that millions of others adore?
Kevin Draine's dramatic, growling narration makes this audiobook a true gem to listen to. There's not a dull moment, and listeners will be left reconsidering the grounds for their musical tastes. Perhaps that noise your next-door neighbors blare at night has something to it!
Non-fans regard Celine Dion as ersatz and plastic, yet to those who love her, no one could be more real, with her impoverished childhood, her (creepy) manager-husband's struggle with cancer, her knack for howling out raw emotion. There is nothing cool about Celine Dion, and nothing clever. That is part of her appeal as an object of love or hatred - with most critics and committed music fans taking pleasure (or at least geeky solace) in their lofty contempt.
This book documents Carl Wilson's brave and unprecedented year-long quest to find his inner Celine Dion fan, and explores how we define ourselves in the light of what we call good and bad; what we love and what we hate.
©2007 Carl Wilson (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"Brilliant." (Alex Ross, author of The Rest Is Noise)
"An important study - not just of Dion and pop music but also of the changing nature of criticism in the popular realm." (Bookforum)
"A book pondering the aesthetics of Celine risks going wrong in about 3,000 different ways.... Instead, this book goes very deeply right." (Sam Anderson, New York Magazine)
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"Let's Talk about Taste"
Okay, first of all I used to describe Celine Dion as my "guilty pleasure" if I talked about liking her at all. I love her voice, which I fell in love with when she sang "Here, There, and Everywhere" on a George Martin tribute album. When I listened to her, which I did from time to time (taking a break from, say, the Radiohead or the Beatles), I would do so alone (and if I was on Spotify, I'd swich my session to "private" so that everyone on Facebook wouldn't know what I was listening to.
Why was I embarrassed to like Celine Dion? Carl Wilson (not the Beach Boy) explains why in this short book about aesthetics and pop culture. I have a better idea about why I do what I do, and other people like music I dont'. While I may still enjoy Celine, Barry Manilow on the private setting it is not because I am embarrassed, it is because all my friends haven't read this book.
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