101 Artists To Listen To Before You Die by Ricardo Cavolo

101 Artists To Listen To Before You Die by Ricardo Cavolo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 232 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Nobrow Press
Source: egalley via Edelweiss

Cavolo presents us with his musical art journal. Not professing to be an expert, this is his personal list of 101 must listen to musicians. Written as a journal in a hand print font with words crossed out here and there each two-page spread features on artist or band. Cavolo's text tries to impart to the reader what each particular artist's music does for him, why he likes it. These are not biographies and barely even any song titles are mentioned. This is not about who the artists are but what they are about musically to the author. Cavolo's art is distinctive; bold and bright and certainly has a nod to Picasso. There is a wide range of music included starting with classical and ending with dub step, but Cavolo's main interests become apparent with the interest in early folk songs and blues then hits its stride in the sixties with punk and garage, which moves on to rap and keeps returning to garage and anything he refers to as "dark".

Ricardo is Spanish and there is a worldwide ethnicity to the singers he has chosen but early on he states his love for North American culture (hence many US groups) then he admits to a love affair with England where he currently resides (hence many British musicians). I haven't heard of most of these musicians once we get past the eighties and what I listened to of that I didn't like. I'd probably recommend the book to those who grew up in the nineties, who like "dark" music, and are into retro music of the same.

One group glaringly missing from the list, which I would have expected to see based both on theme and Cavolo's self-professed British-love is "The Smiths".