Let's Talk About Love : Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste, Paperback Book

Let's Talk About Love : Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


For his 2007 critically acclaimed 33 1/3 series title, Let's Talk About Love, Carl Wilson went on a quest to find his inner Celine Dion fan and explore how we define ourselves by what we call good and bad, what we love and what we hate. At once among the most widely beloved and most reviled and lampooned pop stars of the past few decades, Celine Dion's critics call her mawkish and overblown while millions of fans around the world adore her "huge pipes" and even bigger feelings.

How can anyone say which side is right? This new, expanded edition goes even further, calling on thirteen prominent writers and musicians to respond to themes ranging from sentiment and kitsch to cultural capital and musical snobbery.

The original text is followed by lively arguments and stories from Nick Hornby, Krist Novoselic, Ann Powers, Mary Gaitskill, James Franco, Sheila Heti and others. In a new afterword, Carl Wilson examines recent cultural changes in love and hate, including the impact of technology and social media on how taste works (or doesn't) in the 21st century.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Music reviews & criticism
  • ISBN: 9781441166777

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Five stars for the original book: it is a thoughtful and empathetic rumination on the nature of taste, a topic that I find enormously interesting. Reading it actually convinced me to listen to a Celine Dion album, something i really hadn't expected to happen. Three stars for the supplementary essays. The best of them walk the same line of criticism and autobiography that Wilson walks, including Daphne Brooks's wonderful essay on Diana Ross. But then there are also essays that seem like the very essence of filler, the worst of which is by James Franco, which alternates between grad school name-dropping and self-aggrandizement. The essays don't diminish the original text, but the original text also doesn't need any supplemental material: it's strong enough to stand on its own.

Review by

The title essay is excellent, although already surprisingly dated - the ideas that Wilson lays out have become almost entirely mainstream these days, as the distinctions between cool and uncool breaks down. The commentary essays are a mixed bunch - some excellent analyses and a few less compelling bits and pieces. A great book though, and one you should read at 20 when you still think what you're into makes you cooler than everyone else.