By Greg Sandow
May 27, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music

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If Martha Bayles knew music, she could have written the challenging tome her publishers advertise-an attack on the perversity of current pop that the world would have to take seriously, because it comes from someone who actually likes blues, rock, and R&B. But this former Wall Street Journal arts critic disqualifies herself in the first 20 pages of Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music with howling factual mistakes. Bayles has read lots of books, but she doesn’t comprehend, among much else, the most important sympathetic explanation of musical excess-that it’s provoked by genuine cultural repression. D

Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music

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