James Rhodes’ Playlist Review

Emily Teismann, Copy Editor

      Recently, really late at night, I decided to start a book I got from the school’s library; Playlist: The Rebels and Revolutionaries of Sound. 

     I had originally checked it out as a way to study for the music questions for Scholar Bowl. Having flipped through it before, I knew the book was unique, bizarre and colorful. All of which captured my interest. But I did not know anything else until I opened and submerged myself in it.

     I love music. Classical music included, but am familiar with few artists in the genre; Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. I have heard of others, but never found myself delving into their work. This book demanded I do it. The book covers 7 classical artists; Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Ravel; their backgrounds, and 2 of their pieces, how their works fit into the culture of today, etc. James Rhodes, the author, created a playlist on Spotify of each piece for the reader to listen to as he discusses them in the book.

     After setting up my Spotify account (which took much longer than expected), I began reading. And boy, was I in for a treat. Each artist unexpectedly took me on a journey, cleansing my mind and soul. I felt as if I had been enlightened. It was thrilling. 

     Not only was the music truly magical, but Rhodes was also very entertaining, adding humorous commentary and explaining the musical terminology that appeared from time to time for those who aren’t as well versed. 

     As I mentioned prior, Rhodes was very entertaining, which resulted in me having several laughs. One being when I found out that Mozart, who I had thought at the time to be prim and polished like the rest of them, had..interestingly a crude sense of humor. Apparently, he had written a letter to his cousin saying, “I now wish you a good night, poop in your bed with all your might”. And I did not know what to say, think or do besides laugh at its absurdity. 

     So whenever you get a moment and have some time to yourself, maybe give this odd, colorful book a chance. I am an avid reader and have read many books, thus I can confidently say, I have not read any book like this one. It is a quick read and worth it.

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