Simon Reynolds and Post-Punk
redelephant: While we are on the topic of music criticism.. The NY times has just published a review of Simon Reynold’s latest book Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984. Reynolds, an Oxford trained historian, is an influential British music critic, who is particularly known for his brainy writings on dance music and for coining the term “post-rock” in an 1994 issue of The Wire.
It’s easier for a critic to attack than to praise, but Reynolds takes more pleasure in expressing passion for the music he loves than in putting down what doesn’t fit his program. The author finds his perfect subject in the one-named Green, the Marxist leader of Scritti Politti. Describing Green’s lyrics, which sound like the stuff of conventional love songs on first listen, Reynolds is overwrought: “On closer inspection, though, they turned out to be pretzels of contradiction, with an aporia (the poststructuralist term for voids in the fabric of meaning) lurking in the center of every twist of language, sweet nothings that could wreck your heart.” ..Naturally, Reynolds keeps it real by dropping in expletives between references to Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida.