So I picked up Nick Hornby's 31 Songs as a gift for a friend. But decided that since I wasn't gonna give it away just yet, I'd read it first.
Hornby's somewhat famous for his hits About A Boy and High Fidelity, which were turned into pretty successful films, and many people I know are serious fans of High Fidelity, them music freaks.
Anyway, 31 songs is another book for the music freak I figure. Hornby's written an anthology of sorts about yep you guessed it, 31 songs.
There is a nice mixture, from the modern to the classic. Like he writes of how Nelly Furtado's I'm Like A Bird is ... well actually he doesn't really describe the song but rather how there are certain songs you just have to play over and over again. Which is very true. I do that too often and always wondered why. So Hornby provides an answer of sorts or at least Dave Eggers does: "we have to 'solve' them."
which i suppose is true. to understand a song better, to 'get it' and maybe even to figure out some elusive lyrics.
But it's a pretty darn good read and I love the way he drifts off onto other things. it's not a song/album review but a personal account of why these songs matter to him and that's what's fascinating. It's a little like Will Self (see below) and his restaurant reviews really. To me, that is writing but of course you'll never find that in most newspapers/magazines in Singapore.