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WGUC Reviews

I Hate Myself and I Want To Die

I Hate Myself and I Want To Die
The 52 Most Depressing Songs You’ve Ever Heard
by Tom Reynolds

Review by: Craig R. Stafford


A casual, languouous browse through a brick-and-mortar bookstore is always lovely, akin to the quiet beauty found in Serraut's painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Life provides few greater joys, which is made all the more wonderful by discovering the perfect gem of a book that the booksellers were trying to hide from you way in the back of the store on that dusty bottom shelf.

That book is I Hate Myself and I Want to Die, a look into some of pop music's more misguided and ubiquitous efforts. Never have I been more pleased at spending $13 in my life.

Reynolds loves music (depressing music does not necessarily equate with bad music-which greatly relieved me because I found many of my all-time favorite songs listed.) He gives each song a thoughtful introduction; a witty, detailed discussion of the song and, of course, comments on why it is depressing (with appropriate humorous, insightful comments).

Reynolds views on his (and our) aural suffering is a gift-he writes exceptionally well and should be given his own radio show post haste. He never goes for the easy laugh, instead choosing to slip in a truly brilliant, hysterical and erudite observation on the song, song writer or performer later. His introductory essay The Anatomy of Melancholy should be taught in college and included in every iPod purchased to be read by one and all as he travels the DMT (Depressing Music Timeline) from Homer to the present. How else would I have learned that the 1930s song Gloomy Sunday had a suicide curse on it?

This collection will have you giggling gleefully far into the wee hours of the night, and make you so very glad you took that Sunday afternoon stroll in and out of days with Mandy. "Mandy. You came and gave without taking. You kissed me and stopped me from shaking."

Oops. Sorry about the Manilow lapse. My bad!


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