Hot Best Seller

This Will End in Tears: The Miserablist Guide to Music

Availability: Ready to download

This Will End in Tears is the first ever and definitive guide to melancholy music. Author Adam Brent Houghtaling leads music fans across genres, beyond the enclaves of emo and mope-rock, and through time to celebrate the albums and artists that make up the miserabilist landscape. In essence a book about the saddest songs ever sung, This Will End in Tears is an encyclopedic guide to This Will End in Tears is the first ever and definitive guide to melancholy music. Author Adam Brent Houghtaling leads music fans across genres, beyond the enclaves of emo and mope-rock, and through time to celebrate the albums and artists that make up the miserabilist landscape. In essence a book about the saddest songs ever sung, This Will End in Tears is an encyclopedic guide to the masters of melancholy—from Robert Johnson to Radiohead, from Edith Piaf to Joy Division, from Patsy Cline to The Cure—an insightful, exceedingly engaging exploration into why sad songs make us so happy.


Compare

This Will End in Tears is the first ever and definitive guide to melancholy music. Author Adam Brent Houghtaling leads music fans across genres, beyond the enclaves of emo and mope-rock, and through time to celebrate the albums and artists that make up the miserabilist landscape. In essence a book about the saddest songs ever sung, This Will End in Tears is an encyclopedic guide to This Will End in Tears is the first ever and definitive guide to melancholy music. Author Adam Brent Houghtaling leads music fans across genres, beyond the enclaves of emo and mope-rock, and through time to celebrate the albums and artists that make up the miserabilist landscape. In essence a book about the saddest songs ever sung, This Will End in Tears is an encyclopedic guide to the masters of melancholy—from Robert Johnson to Radiohead, from Edith Piaf to Joy Division, from Patsy Cline to The Cure—an insightful, exceedingly engaging exploration into why sad songs make us so happy.

30 review for This Will End in Tears: The Miserablist Guide to Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo anything by Nick Drake hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo One for my baby by Frank Sinatra hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo something with the word Cry in the title by Johnny Ray hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo Wah wah wah wah wah wah G Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo anything by Nick Drake hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo One for my baby by Frank Sinatra hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo something with the word Cry in the title by Johnny Ray hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo Wah wah wah wah wah wah Gloomy Sunday by Billie Holiday wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah Last Night I dreamt that Somebody Loved Me by The Smiths wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wahv wah wah wah wah wah wah Just Say I Love Him by Nina Simone wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah sniffle glug glug sniffle The Last Letter by Rex Griffin glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug How can you mend a Broken Heart by Al Green sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle Feel Like Going Home by the Walkabouts glug glug sniffle glug glug sniffle glug glug

  2. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    This wasn't quite as delightful as I'd hoped, based on my understanding of the title. It's a compilation of opinions written by a music buff for other music buffs and is fairly emo and angsty but in an old person way, not a hipster way. The author details the his life's terrible times through his favorite depressing music, though it's not a story. This is a catalog, alphabetically ordered by artist, of sad songs that made the author think about sad things. This wasn't quite as delightful as I'd hoped, based on my understanding of the title. It's a compilation of opinions written by a music buff for other music buffs and is fairly emo and angsty but in an old person way, not a hipster way. The author details the his life's terrible times through his favorite depressing music, though it's not a story. This is a catalog, alphabetically ordered by artist, of sad songs that made the author think about sad things. For each musical artist, there's a little bio, a list of their saddest music, and sometimes a reason those songs affected the author. If you're big-time into music, you'll enjoy this. For me, it was interesting but it got boring if I read more than a few pages at a time, and it seemed rather navel-gazey especially when his opinions didn't match my opinions. But, mileage may vary, and all.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Part of me wants to rate this book more highly than 3 stars. There is a tremendous amount of information presented on the artists and topics Houghtaling covers. The author takes the somewhat unique approach of alternating between topics like "Born to Be Blue: The True Color of Misery" or "Suicide, It's a Suicide: Self-Harm and Song" and the progression of his encyclopedic artist entries. So for example, we get the Suicide chapter, a song essay ("Gloomy Sunday"), and then he picks up where he lef Part of me wants to rate this book more highly than 3 stars. There is a tremendous amount of information presented on the artists and topics Houghtaling covers. The author takes the somewhat unique approach of alternating between topics like "Born to Be Blue: The True Color of Misery" or "Suicide, It's a Suicide: Self-Harm and Song" and the progression of his encyclopedic artist entries. So for example, we get the Suicide chapter, a song essay ("Gloomy Sunday"), and then he picks up where he left off going through the artist alphabet (in this case, the entry on Frank Sinatra). Following Sinatra, we get a page or two or three on Elliott Smith, The Smiths, Smog, The Sound, Sparklehorse, and David Sylvian. Then it's time for the next chapter (subtitled Laments, Sung Weeping, and Deathbed Songs) and another song essay ("Taps"), followed by the next artist in line, which happens to be The Mortal Coil. At first I didn't like this arrangement, but later I came to appreciate the alternation. It keeps the reader's interest level up better, assuming you are reading the book through from start to end. Houghtaling clearly knows a LOT about a wide range of music and he clearly has honed his music critic writing skills. A PARTIAL sample sentence: "...1990's Little preserves [Vic] Chesnutt's choppy, gothic gems by capturing him in a bare setting with only a nylon-string guitar and intermittent washes of cheap keyboard, his wobbly, misfit-stuffed poetry and peculiar phrasing already in evidence." I imagine it has to be really tough to write about music in an interesting and descriptive way without being repetitive, so I do admire Houghtaling's craft. The whole book reads like this, so be warned or enticed, as you will. The various chapter topics can be viewed, in part, as individual wildly obsessive themed mix tapes. If you would like a pretty thorough list of "disaster" songs, for instance, look no farther than "Oh, the Humanity" which begins on page 145. You will become an instant authority on disaster songs. Two little editing faux pas: On the "100 Saddest Songs" with which the book concludes, there are only 99. The author lists "Death Letter" by Son House twice, once at #83 and once at #97. With the same explanatory paragraph in each instance. Also, on page xii, Houghtaling said that he wouldn't include more than one performance per artist in his 100 Saddest list. Yet Bing Crosby makes an appearance at #63 ("Brother, Can You Spare a Dime") and #96 ("When I Lost You"). Perhaps even the author was finally done in by his own subject matter. Ultimately, because the content is so unrelentingly bleak (the front cover blurb calls the book "the feel-bad book of the year"), I can't say that I "really liked" the book (4 stars). But I do admire it. And I expect to purchase a copy for myself sometime. (As with most of what I read, I got this from the public library.) Recommended, with an asterisk.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Tyler

    This book has got an excellent concept; the organization is stylish and intriguing: it's a collection of essays about individual artists, songs, pieces of music, and categories of music interspersed with an alphabetically organized list of artists. Some of the chapters include "Breaking Up, Breaking Down, Cheating, and Divorce," "Decay, Disintegration, Disease," and "Seasonally Affected: Falling Leaves, Falling Snow, FallingTears." The book culminated in a list of the 100 saddest song This book has got an excellent concept; the organization is stylish and intriguing: it's a collection of essays about individual artists, songs, pieces of music, and categories of music interspersed with an alphabetically organized list of artists. Some of the chapters include "Breaking Up, Breaking Down, Cheating, and Divorce," "Decay, Disintegration, Disease," and "Seasonally Affected: Falling Leaves, Falling Snow, FallingTears." The book culminated in a list of the 100 saddest songs. Individual artists highlighted include Jacques Brel, Pasty Cline, Leonard Cohen, Felt, Roy Orbison, Jean Sibelius in a bizarre (but alphabetical) follow-up to the Shangri-Las. I enjoyed this book enormously and plan to keep it as a reference to dip into when I am on Spotify or Pandora. It is, however, a partial and arbitrary listing with so much reference to music of the 1980s and 1990s that the past decade is barely touched upon. Houghtaling tries to include classical music but his choices are very capricious. Lots of space is dedicated to John Dowland but he should write more about composers like Faure, Ravel, Debussy, and Janacek. And Broadway is a largely unmined territory here. There are many strange, crazy sad songs incongruously peppering the Broadway theatre. Bring on Sondheim! But I don't mean to quibble; the concept of this book is solid and it would be nice to have a "This Will End in Tears: 21st Century Edition" or "Classical and Operatic Edition".

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cami

    Okay, while I cannot even come close to guaranteeing that this book would be amazing to, well, most of you, to me it was amazing. Adam Houghtaling should be my new music buddy. The contents of this book are precious to me. Houghtaling embraces those who pour their hearts into their cup o' lyrics, then flush the proverbial cup out with corrosive chemicals, aching guitar riffs and paralyzing vocals. I have had a pained heart (and in some cases, wept to) eleven of the top hund Okay, while I cannot even come close to guaranteeing that this book would be amazing to, well, most of you, to me it was amazing. Adam Houghtaling should be my new music buddy. The contents of this book are precious to me. Houghtaling embraces those who pour their hearts into their cup o' lyrics, then flush the proverbial cup out with corrosive chemicals, aching guitar riffs and paralyzing vocals. I have had a pained heart (and in some cases, wept to) eleven of the top hundred saddest songs . I think that's a pretty high number considering this spans all types and ages of music, including foreign language songs and classical pieces (that I don't recognize by name). There are well-known and wonderfully obscure songs here, but to know that someone else in the universe is out there that knows them, appreciates them enough to put them in a book and felt the same way about the tender expressions here...I find that wonderfully comforting. Anyway, this book is set up in sections with titles like "Decay, Disintegration, Disease" and "Born to Be Blue: The True Color of Misery?". Under each section is a dozen or so artist musical histories and perhaps an essay or three about particular sad songs. While I have not yet read the book cover to cover, I've read a lot of it and I'm asking for it for Christmas, where as I plan to "swallow [it] slowly as to last me a lifetime." (Medicine Bottle by Red House Painters)

  6. 5 out of 5

    J.J. Lair

    I’m happy I read this book! At first I didn’t know what to expect from it. It’s a well put together book. There are biographies of singers and songwriters known for sad songs, essays, the science behind depression and music. Some of the singers I didn’t know, but thanks to Youtube and Itunes, I discovered Nick Cave, Jacques Brel, and heard Nico. I already knew Morrissey, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline (her biography movie starring Jessica Lange is very wrong), The Cure and Joy Division, but I also got I’m happy I read this book! At first I didn’t know what to expect from it. It’s a well put together book. There are biographies of singers and songwriters known for sad songs, essays, the science behind depression and music. Some of the singers I didn’t know, but thanks to Youtube and Itunes, I discovered Nick Cave, Jacques Brel, and heard Nico. I already knew Morrissey, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline (her biography movie starring Jessica Lange is very wrong), The Cure and Joy Division, but I also got their life histories and the inspirations behind songs. There was a special essay on “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division. A song that still holds up as great. There was other bonus features such as how the ear hears certain noises, what instruments are really sad sounding and phrasing techniques. I would recommend this book for a music lover. It didn’t mock songs for being sad. It wasn’t just pop songs, I had to look things up.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    You know how sometimes when you're sad, you need to listen to really sad songs? This is the ULTIMATE guide to music for every type of misery!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Started the book by reading the chapter "Oh, the Humanity! Disasters and Depressions." The first paragraph (p 145) the author makes an obvious mistake, not caught by the editor "the Library of Congress holds more than a dozen songs about the 1911 San Francisco earthquake." Not only do the author and editor get that wrong, they blame the Library of Congress for their mistake. Then he mentions the great Gordon Lightfoot train wreck song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (p 149). From the Started the book by reading the chapter "Oh, the Humanity! Disasters and Depressions." The first paragraph (p 145) the author makes an obvious mistake, not caught by the editor "the Library of Congress holds more than a dozen songs about the 1911 San Francisco earthquake." Not only do the author and editor get that wrong, they blame the Library of Congress for their mistake. Then he mentions the great Gordon Lightfoot train wreck song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (p 149). From the first verse; "With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed" i stopped reading there, no idea how accurate the book is, but it isn't promising after fewer than a half dozen pages.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryland Dinneen

    An interesting exploration as to why we are so attracted to music that wallows in sorrow. Houghtaling's analysis' of albums and discographies is at times shallow, and often references commercial achievements more than providing real critiques of the work itself. However, it is full of insightful information on the psychology and history behind sad music, and offers solid recommendations of bands and albums that are, at least in my mind, essential for hardcore music fans and over-emotionalists li An interesting exploration as to why we are so attracted to music that wallows in sorrow. Houghtaling's analysis' of albums and discographies is at times shallow, and often references commercial achievements more than providing real critiques of the work itself. However, it is full of insightful information on the psychology and history behind sad music, and offers solid recommendations of bands and albums that are, at least in my mind, essential for hardcore music fans and over-emotionalists like myself (ha). It's not often people like Nico or Scott Walker are given the credit they are due, and this is refreshing because of that. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and I feel that I have taken away valuable knowledge and insight from Houghtaling's writings.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    On most days, though it's not exclusive, I tend to connect with sad or introspective sounding music above all else. It's the eternal question summed up so brilliantly by the character Rob Gordon in High Fidelity: "What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns or watching violent videos; that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands, of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery an On most days, though it's not exclusive, I tend to connect with sad or introspective sounding music above all else. It's the eternal question summed up so brilliantly by the character Rob Gordon in High Fidelity: "What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns or watching violent videos; that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands, of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?" To put it bluntly, this is a really great resource for the music-obsessed to have lying around. Is it odd to say it's enjoyable when its subject is misery? Therapeutic, for sure. With this Miserablist Guide, fellow sad-sacks can discover and rediscover the works of numerous artists, and it even covers a good range of musical territory from John Dowland to Swans to Patsy Cline to Nick Drake to Galaxie 500 to Gene Clark to James Carr to Adrian Borland and The Sound. The book includes several sections detailing things such as how we as humans relate to melancholic music and the like, divorce, tragedy and disaster, and depression, but mostly it profiles a variety of musicians known particularly for their gloomy musical catalog. There are a few song essays scattered about—like ones that highlight Leonard Cohen's epic "Hallelujah" (really, how unspeakably incredible is Jeff Buckley's voice on that?), Billie Holiday's haunting "Strange Fruit", and The Cure's controversial Camus-inspired "Killing an Arab". It covers a lot of ground, but obviously doesn't get to everything due to the breadth of music available out there, so one will surely find plenty of holes. The focus is predominately on pop and rock music, with jazz and classical taking a backseat. And for example, the book covers Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, briefly mentioning The Birthday Party and guitarist Rowland S. Howard's name, but I don't recall it mentioning Howard's seductively dark solo effort Teenage Snuff Film—he's the crown prince of seething bitterness and misery on there in terms of his haunting vocals and searing Fender Jaguar. Another one of my favorite "miserable" bands is criminally unknown New Zealand band The Terminals; the misery is mostly found in their moody, swampy experimental noise/gothy psychedelia sound. Check out their 2007 record Last Days of the Sun. Anyway, as mentioned before, it's a good resource to have on hand and is particularly great for those who can never seem to get their fill of music-related anecdotes.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alan Teder

    This was an interesting collection of short articles about roughly 80 composers/songwriters/performers whose music can roughly be categorized as "miserablist" as in the sense of "sad or melancholy" music. They range from the English Renaissance composer of laments John Dowland, to singer songwriters such as Nick Drake & Elliot Smith, to country stars such as Hank Williams & Johnny Cash to present day bands/groups such as Nick Case and the Bad Seeds & Radiohead with some blues & j This was an interesting collection of short articles about roughly 80 composers/songwriters/performers whose music can roughly be categorized as "miserablist" as in the sense of "sad or melancholy" music. They range from the English Renaissance composer of laments John Dowland, to singer songwriters such as Nick Drake & Elliot Smith, to country stars such as Hank Williams & Johnny Cash to present day bands/groups such as Nick Case and the Bad Seeds & Radiohead with some blues & jazz artists and a very few number of classical composers. Most of the performers have a Top Ten list of miserablist works included. Several longer essays focus on individual works such as Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" or Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". The book concludes with a listing of the 100 Saddest Songs. It did seem several times that the work was not based on first hand knowledge and that some short cuts from Wikipedia or other sources may have been used to fill out the biographies. Errors such as referring to bassist Ashley Hutchings as a "her", or that the Robert Wyatt voiced Wyattron was used on Björk's "Oceania" (it was "Submarine" wasn't it?), or listing Son House's "Death Letter" twice in the list of 100 Saddest Songs (as both #83 & #97) seemed to indicate some sloppiness or lack of familiarity. These were based on artists I knew and therefore noticed, but there are a lot of artists in this book that were completely new to me and this lack of care made me less sure of how much I could trust about the accuracy of the rest. Still there was a lot of new information here and the book was well organized and easy to read and anyone with interest in the subject will likely already have a few favourite artists here and they can judge the book for themselves on that basis. And likely they will find at least several new names that they will be interested in hearing more about.

  12. 5 out of 5

    cherrytreegirl

    Difference of opinion is inherent to the subject of This Will End in Tears.... So it came as an expected given i would find myself using it less like a simple checklist than as a marker by which to examine why and how i personally define my own world of sad songs. Adam Houghtaling's writing allows the reader such contemplation by being accessibly informative and enthusiastic in opinion; not overbearing. After all, a book can only be so long, and a list of one hundred can contain, well, just 100 (sometime Difference of opinion is inherent to the subject of This Will End in Tears.... So it came as an expected given i would find myself using it less like a simple checklist than as a marker by which to examine why and how i personally define my own world of sad songs. Adam Houghtaling's writing allows the reader such contemplation by being accessibly informative and enthusiastic in opinion; not overbearing. After all, a book can only be so long, and a list of one hundred can contain, well, just 100 (sometimes 99 if you're lucky). That said, i believe the absence of some music from This Will End in Tears... moves beyond opinion to a point of error. While the Country genre perhaps lends itself naturally to sorrow it is overrepresented throughout the book. In contrast Grunge, a genre whose identity is equally tied to unhappiness, is all but forgotten to this musicology. What of the eponymous album by Smashing Pumpkins whose name devotes itself to "Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness"? What of the tortured life and suicide of Kurt Cobain? This unjust bias towards Country music exemplifies itself to me in the inclusion of the song "Hurt" by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails into the top 100 under the cover version recorded by Johnny Cash. Here are some other noteworthy omissions: "Rachel's Song"- Vangelis "The Blower's Daughter"- Damian Rice "Another Lonely Day"- Ben Harper "The Drugs Don't Work"- The Verve "Night Porter"- David Sylvian How can you have an essay on all things tears and not mention the band named Tears For Fears and their iconic The Hurting? the entire Industrial genre and most of Shoegaze Tom Waits Neko Case Aimee Mann Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    An interesting guide to getting your feet wet in the "miserablist" genre of music, though it's wise to keep in mind that the descriptions in this book ultimately reflects one person's tastes (or one range, if he did crowd-sourcing). The Top 100 list in my copy actually only has 99--"Death Letter" by Son House was listed twice. But by that point in the book I was almost wondering if it was a charm: after reading an A-to-Z list of artists where roughly 80% killed themselves either direc An interesting guide to getting your feet wet in the "miserablist" genre of music, though it's wise to keep in mind that the descriptions in this book ultimately reflects one person's tastes (or one range, if he did crowd-sourcing). The Top 100 list in my copy actually only has 99--"Death Letter" by Son House was listed twice. But by that point in the book I was almost wondering if it was a charm: after reading an A-to-Z list of artists where roughly 80% killed themselves either directly or passively (via alcohol, other substance abuse, 'hard living,' &c.), I had to wonder if a full 100 songs would cause the reader to snap and follow in their wake. Heavily dog-earred for further forays into the songs and artists mentioned.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Obviously knows a ton about music, and really got me interested in a bunch of artists I'd either never heard of or never paid much attention to. And since the world is hardly lacking in opinionated music critics tossing recommendations at you, the fact that this one made me pay attention and was consistently interesting. However, as I kept reading the editing deficiencies got very, very tiresome. There are so many factual errors that are little more than typos that nobody caught. There are many, Obviously knows a ton about music, and really got me interested in a bunch of artists I'd either never heard of or never paid much attention to. And since the world is hardly lacking in opinionated music critics tossing recommendations at you, the fact that this one made me pay attention and was consistently interesting. However, as I kept reading the editing deficiencies got very, very tiresome. There are so many factual errors that are little more than typos that nobody caught. There are many, many torturous sentences and mixed metaphors that could have easily been fixed and made this book so much easier to read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    There's a bit of bias among music critics and fans that sad songs are by definition deep and worthy of attention, and happy songs are throwaway fluff. I think there are good and bad songs on both ends of the spectrum, and more to the point, songs aren't that easy to classify. But for those whose tastes fall on the sad end, this book will give you many melancholy singers and bands to check out. I find it hard to rate it higher than 3 stars though, because it's mostly just a few pages on each arti There's a bit of bias among music critics and fans that sad songs are by definition deep and worthy of attention, and happy songs are throwaway fluff. I think there are good and bad songs on both ends of the spectrum, and more to the point, songs aren't that easy to classify. But for those whose tastes fall on the sad end, this book will give you many melancholy singers and bands to check out. I find it hard to rate it higher than 3 stars though, because it's mostly just a few pages on each artist, top 10 lists, and essays on various aspects of sad songs sprinkled in.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Geoffrey

    Parts of this book, mainly the essays, are great; there are some interesting lists of songs, but the inclusion of encyclopedia-style entries on 80-something artists is a total waste, especially if they are still active (unless you don't have any access at all to a computer and can't look anyone these bands up on wiki). This whole thing would work better as a blog, which can be updated regularly, and have links to the featured bands.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Keeping in mind this is just one person's perspective on music, I still enjoyed this book! It was missing a lot of artists/songs I consider to be considerably depressing, but I think this was a pretty good selection covering a wide variety of genres. And on the plus side, it's given me a bunch of new artists to check out. Nice! I did like the arrangement of the book around different themes, and it was cool to get some background information about artists/songs I'm not familiar with.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    I read through this miserabilist book at random, mostly because I didn't know some of the artists but I wrote down the names of topics of interest (i.e. Breaking up, breaking down, cheating, divorce, decay, disintegration, self-harm and disease). It is funny because I am actually finding a lot of my favorite introspective artists in here (:

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bookation13

    this book caught my attention. as music lover you can't go wrong with this book. haven't read the book yet, giving it a 5 stars . example I've seen john Waite -missing you... if your not genuinely moved by this song / have you in tears then don't bother reading the book hehe jm.. it's always good to learn things .. a must read :)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    Great analysis of sad songs and why we enjoy them...as well as bands/performers that usually sing or perform sad songs. This ranges from The Smiths to Portishead to John Dowland. Really interesting stuff. The last bit of the book is a list of what he considers to be the 100 most Sad songs. It is a great list...except for ONE duplicate.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    It's redundant in parts, and I'd quibble over many of the selections and omissions -- which I think is half of the point of any of these High Fidelity-esque books of lists of music -- but it was a quick read, and I came out of it with a couple of dozen albums and songs to check out, so I can't say that it wasn't time well spent.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    As a music lover, I really enjoyed this book. It was neat to hear the stories behind some of my favorite songs and artists. There were even some I had never heard of before, and after reading this book I had to go explore iTunes so I could create some new playlists. While the title may be depressing, this is a fun read!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meril

    Great concept, but so many mistakes in the editing. This may have worked better as a Tumblr project. At least most bloggers there check to make sure that they didn't transpose dates, miss names, miss parts of sentences....

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    So here's the thing, it's a book with a list of bunch of artists that revel in misery. I found myself reading more about artists that I was already familiar with than those that I didn't know. That is all.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristenyque

    This book describes how "sad" music actually can (using brain chemistry) make people happy. As someone who enjoys it now and then I found some new selections through the book and I enjoyed the explanation of how this type of music can effect people.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christian

    Of course I'm reading this.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy Elizabeth

    Any book with a back cover blurb by my celebrity crush Rob Sheffield earns 4 stars without even cracking cover.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Cuellar

    Good for the music fan. Paints a better understanding of sadness in songs. Also serves to give recommendations to what to listen to when you're heartbroken.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Kinda interesting, even if the artists included are mostly dudes. Not including Fiona Apple, Nina Simone or Tori Amos in a book about sad music seems like a very strange choice.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ray Carroll

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.