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What would have made The New Blue Music: Changes in Rhythm & Blues, 1950-1999 better?
This work is very much like an academic paper and the average listener will probably not enjoy listening, especially if you are not familiar with notes, chords, tempo and other music theory concepts. If you're looking for a technical and statistical analysis of the topic, then this might be useful to you. If you're looking for a narrative that examines the historical, social and cultural influences on development of R&B, you will be disappointed and bored.
What didn’t you like about Kenneth Lee’s performance?
The dry and repetitive narration is likely due in large part to the material, but it is dry and repetitive nonetheless. The narrator mispronounces the names of several of the more contemporary music groups.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Most books about Rhythm and Blues, Soul, and black popular music seem to follow a similar narrative, and are written under the guise of a socio-cultural analysis, with reference to politics, historical events, etc.
This book's key selling point is that it follows an almost entirely musicological analysis, taking apart different songs to discover changing trends in rhythm, melody, tempo, harmony, etc. Almost scientific in it's depth.
I have to knock off a star for 2 reasons. Firstly, the analysis for each decade is done in regards to the 25 top hits of the the decade (which I don't believe is even half the amount that should be covered to gain a true understanding of these topics), but mainly, as an audio book, it's hard to understand some of the lists being read out in terms of the numbers and statistics being presented to you. I actually don't seem to recall a list of 25 songs for each decade being read out loud, I assume it's an appendix in the book form, which is a major flaw.