THE WORDS OF EVERY SONG by Liz Moore
Kirkus Star

THE WORDS OF EVERY SONG

KIRKUS REVIEW

A young veteran of the New York club circuit meditates on music and the people who make it in a confident, affecting debut collection.

Theo Brigham is an A&R executive poised between innocence and experience. Jax Powers-Kline, his boss at Titan Records, is about to learn that she long ago ceased to be human. Siobhan O’Hara is the leader of a band that Theo hopes will be big, but most likely won’t. Tommy Mays is an indisputable rock star, Titan’s most popular, most lucrative act. These are just a few of the characters—some hopeful, some successful, all on the brink of transformation—whose stories are intertwined. Moore is a musician herself, and her depiction of the music industry rings true. But it’s the stories concerning adolescence that are the strongest—like “Tia, a Terrible Dancer,” about the fattest member of a teen girl group. Moore is, most vitally, a writer capable of capturing a character or a scene with one or two luminous details. As outstanding as this book is, it’s almost as remarkable for what it isn’t—not an exposé, tell-all or satire. The reader isn’t forced to extract enjoyment by, say, guessing who Tommy Mays really is. He really is a rock star who sometimes sings songs that he hates because his label likes them.

Sweet, wistful, artfully arranged: like the best mix tape anyone ever made for you.

Pub Date: July 10th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7679-2642-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Broadway
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2007