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William Echard. Neil Young and the Poetics of Energy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005 [Book Review]

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-05-22, 02:14 authored by Andrew Padgett
Neil Young is an ideal object for popular music scholarship, not only because of the volume of work that he has produced over his long career – William Echard’s study, for instance, cites no fewer than 40 of the albums Young produced between 1966 and 2003, a figure that does not even cover his entire output – but also because of the eclecticism of his work, which allows Echard to draw on a wide range of theoretical models in searching for the “stable” Neil Young identity that he believes underpins Young’s music. As a result of these dual considerations, Echard’s book would have been capable of serving not only as a comprehensive introduction to Neil Young’s music, but also as a study of contemporary popular music scholarship. In the first respect, the book succeeds. There are, however, a number of significant weaknesses with Echard’s study that ensure it fails on the second count.


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Book Review