"A remarkable new book . . . Ratliff] goes leaping from Beethoven to Big Black, from Morton Feldman to Curtis Mayfield, identifying continuities while delighting in contrasts." ---Alex Ross, The New Yorker
What does it mean to listen in the digital era? Today, we can listen to nearly anything, at any time, from Detroit techno to jam bands to baroque opera. The possibilities in this new age of listening overturn old assumptions about what it means to properly appreciate music---to be an "educated" listener.
In Every Song Ever, veteran New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff reimagines the very idea of music appreciation in this day and age. As familiar subdivisions like "rock" and "jazz" matter less and less and music's accessible past becomes longer and broader, listeners can put aside the intentions of composers and musicians and engage music afresh, on their own terms. The result is a new mode of listening that can lead to unexpected connections and astonishing possibilities---as well as dangers.
Encompassing the sounds of five continents and several centuries, Every Song Ever is a necessary field guide to our musical habitat, and a foundation for the new aesthetics our age demands.
About the Author
Ben Ratliff has been a jazz and pop critic for The New York Times since 1996. He has written three books: The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music (2008); Coltrane: The Story of a Sound (2007, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award); and Jazz: A Critic's Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings (2002). He lives with his wife and two sons in the Bronx.