A compilation of stories and essays written by authors and musicians sharing the deep influences of music that helped to shape their lives, particularly calling upon their own adolescences.
Any such collection presents a generational perspective that risks a disconnect with young readers, and many of the pieces do not seek to bridge this gap. Jonathan Maberry breaks this pattern with a refreshing essay that takes the time to connect with the contemporary teen audience this book is intended for, as he consciously and carefully introduces younger readers to a music culture in which there were “no iPods, no Internet streaming, no CDs.” His timeless essay, filled with a lengthy list of musicians, is a soul-searching piece that can be read for years to come. The anthology does include a few diverse authors, giving readers glimpses into the personal musical influences of such authors as Ellen Oh and E.C. Myers as well as a haunting essay by musician Donn T. Some contributors reference their own songs, such as musician G. Love and author James Howe, who writes about a song he wrote with his husband, Mark Davis. In a sour note, all but one of the musical choices within this book’s playlist are from white creators (the exception is Oh’s inspiration, South Korean girl group 2NE1). Befitting the anthology’s topic, there are sex and drugs to go with the rock ’n’ roll.
An entertaining-enough collection for adult fans wanting trips down Memory Lane, though perhaps not quite so successful a one for teens. (Anthology. 14-adult)