Wednesday, 11 February 2009

What Kanye Say?

There's been a debate raging in Private Eye recently concerning the fact that the anonymous book reviewer had published - wait for it - a positive review of a book! There amid the regular fortnightly demolishing of months and years of lovingly crafted literature was a glowing tribute to that most dreaded of oevres the Celebrity Autobiography.

The work which stood out above the Daves and Jades and Hamsters and Ramsays was - Paul O'Grady's "At My Mother's Knee - and other low joints".

The sad fact of human nature is that hatchet jobs are normally far more entertaining to read than peans of praise, probably because reading a stinker of a review imparts a false sense of superiority and has more opportunity for wit. For example, Christopher Isherwood's Play "I am a Camera" drew the memorable critical riposte "Me no Leica" which has stuck around much longer than any recollection of the play.

There was a great article in last month's WORD Magazine by Rob Fitzpatrick in which he discussed the opposite tendency in Music reviews to follow the flock and five star ratings rather than stand out and declare the Emperor's tackle to be completely visible. He cites the reception to the latest Kanye West Album "808s & Heartbreak" which drew ecstatic maximum star reviews from every Magazine from Metro to Mojo via the Financial Times and Daily Mirror.

Although declaring himself a massive fan of Kanye West, he then goes on to stand his ground and declare "don't buy this record, it is dreadful". He notes that "There are keyboards that Richard Clayderman's finicky, interior designer uncle would dismiss as 'way too f*ing syrupy' ".
It made more entertaining reading than a page full of hyperbole anyway.


Geoff said...

Kanye's first album was a cracker. His next wasn't so I can imagine what this one's like.

My mum loves Paul O'Grady. I'll have to get her a job on Private Eye.

Rog said...

Geoff: Whatever O'Grady says, everyone does. You mum would be better AS a private eye.

Liz said...

I don't think I can name any songs by Kanye West.

I wouldn't mind reading Paul O'Grady's book. I think the man has 'lived' a little more than some celebs. And he's not afraid to be a grumpy old git in public either - I think what you see is what you get.

KAZ said...

"Me no Leica".
Was that review that inspired your own inimitable blogging style?

Dave said...

Can I state for the record that the Dave referred to above is not me.

I haven't written my autobiography.


Rog said...

Liz: I think the stand out thing about O'Grady is that he did actually write it himself which is strangely surprising in the world of autobiographies.

Kaz: You may be right! At least it's a snappy comment that clicked with me. It developed from there but may have become over-exposed.

Dave: Your blog is your autobiography. Autoblogoffraphy? If a man says his word is as good as his bond, take his bond.

Richard said...

I don't know what Kanye West is but I don't think I want to find out.

Rog said...

I think he's a distant relative of Dave East Richard.