Non-fans regard Celine Dion as ersatz and plastic, yet to those who love her, no one could be more real, with her impoverished childhood, her (creepy) manager-husband's struggle with cancer, her knack for howling out raw emotion. There is nothing cool about Celine Dion, and nothing clever. That is part of her appeal as an object of love or hatred - with most critics and committed music fans taking pleasure (or at least geeky solace) in their lofty contempt.
This book documents Carl Wilson's brave and unprecedented year-long quest to find his inner Celine Dion fan, and explores how we define ourselves in the light of what we call good and bad; what we love and what we hate.
Carl Wilson's fascinating study of music, taste, and reputation will defy your preconceptions on music writing. First of all, Wilson loathes Celine Dion's music. But he sets out to explore why. Is musical preference personal or social? How does cultural capital and "coolness" play into our musical tastes. How can you hate music that millions of others adore?
Kevin Draine's dramatic, growling narration makes this audiobook a true gem to listen to. There's not a dull moment, and listeners will be left reconsidering the grounds for their musical tastes. Perhaps that noise your next-door neighbors blare at night has something to it!
"Brilliant." (Alex Ross, author of The Rest Is Noise)
"An important study - not just of Dion and pop music but also of the changing nature of criticism in the popular realm." (Bookforum)
"A book pondering the aesthetics of Celine risks going wrong in about 3,000 different ways.... Instead, this book goes very deeply right.” (Sam Anderson, New York Magazine)
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