PositiveThe AtlanticHarry’s memoir is not, in fact, a bummer. It’s true that she’s been stalked, raped, addicted to heroin, and hassled by Patti Smith, but Harry relates each incident, bad and good, with a \'that’s life\' literary deadpan ... It’s hard to put your finger on the Harry that emerges from Face It. While other aging-rocker memoirs have earned press for the gossip they’ve revealed, so far the biggest brouhaha about Harry’s book has been about a clumsy attempt at summing her up ... Harry is here to fill in some of the blanks—briskly, humorously, and mixed in with abstract riffs on appendages and animals ... She’s also uninterested in getting very deep on certain personal mysteries, like the question of why she and Stein broke up in 1987 after more than a decade together. Her point of view as a songwriter gets only brief, sporadic treatment ... Holding back is an understandable maneuver for someone who’s been stared at so much, and it’s not quite right to call Face It evasive. She always comes off as tough and matter-of-fact and New York–y, very much the voice that complained about love as a \'pain in the ass\' in Heart of Glass, or that facetiously took down some \'groupie supreme\' in Rip Her to Shreds. Knowing that there are still those who expect her to be simply \'a blonde in tight pants,\' she tells her life story how she wants to tell it. And when she gets tired of sharing, Harry is kind enough not to extend a middle finger.
Sara Quin and Tegan Quin
PositiveThe Atlantic... music makes up only a fraction of the book. High School mostly devotes itself to familiar milestones: first kisses and first hickeys, secret crushes and high-stakes sleepovers, wild house parties and wilder sibling fights, a mom finding a bag of pot and a friend finding stashed love letters. While Tegan and Sara are hilarious in their onstage banter, on the page their anecdotes read as spooky, solemn obstacle-running. A melancholy tone runs throughout. Queerness complicates what otherwise might seem like just hijinks.
PositiveThe AtlanticAn idiosyncratic polemic as much as it is a history, Future Sounds will frustrate those looking for a technical timeline ticking through 808s and Ableton (to be fair, there is a bare-bones timeline in the appendix). But regarding the art itself, the book’s a feast ... Stubbs isn’t shy about his particular tastes and encounters ... The approach sometimes scans as blinkered or biased, but it dovetails remarkably well with his deeper argument about electronic music and humankind ... might have arrived at a more coherent appraisal of the present had it given better consideration to hip-hop, the engine of pop’s innovation for some time now.
PositiveThe AtlanticLet’s Go...unflinchingly describes Tweedy’s lowest point ... Tweedy dishes...expressing compassion for the men he’s fallen out with, taking some measure of the blame, but also strenuously arguing his side of the story—in much the same folksy, straightforward, shockingly funny manner that the rest of Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back) is written in. Dad jokes are aplenty, as are self-deprecating and sarcastic asides, even in the darkest passages ... For fans who know Tweedy largely through his abstruse poetry about murder, bloody needles, and \'tongue-tied lightning,\' the breezy tone will come as a shock, which is probably the point.
RaveThe Atlantic\"Hyden’s book is a cheery, surprisingly modest contribution to such relitigation in the musical arena ... A book like this could have been a middle finger to all those who cheer the supposed \'death of rock\' with accusations of racism, sexism, and stale nostalgia ... The book feels designed to inspire quibbling such as this because it is, more than anything, a 289-page exercise in the joyful rock-fan pastime of bullshit theorizing.\
RaveThe AtlanticIn concept, Every Song Ever can’t help but evoke the stereotype of the High Fidelity record-store clerk enamored with the obscure yet conversant in the popular, and prone to over-the-top displays of his expertise. Each chapter comes with a playlist, many of which might seem like parodies of eclecticism ... Yet Ratliff plumbs his mental library not to show off but to show how you, too, can be this omnivorous. He wants to offer all readers a way to appreciate, even love, songs that no right-functioning recommendation engine would ever put in their earbuds.