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  • A music appreciation guide for our era ... Brilliant

    Dan Chiasson, New York Review of Books
  • A remarkable new book . . . [Ratliff] goes leaping from Beethoven to Big Black, from Morton Feldman to Curtis Mayfield, identifying continuities while delighting in contrasts

    Alex Ross, New Yorker
  • The spectacle of an active mind processing a world in constant flux . . . Maybe, as Ratliff beautifully argues, the brooding aggression of metal obscures a deeper melancholy

    Hua Hsu, New Yorker
  • Incisive . . . Thanks to Ratliff's vast knowledge, what could have been a dry academic exercise is more like a trip into the world's coolest record store

    David Browne, Rolling Stone

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