Author: John Covach
Publisher: W.W. Norton
What's that Sound? is a chronological narrative of rock music. New to the second edition is a colour insert that captures a visualised history of rock. Because of its structure, the book simplifies the relationship between music, geography and history. Chronological narratives are easy to read and write, but music is more than chronology and popular music is more than rock.
For those who want a "neutral" presentation of rock and its development, then this is an effective book. But for those who require analysis, interpretation and evaluation, there are better guides.
Who is it for? First-year students in popular music.
Presentation: It is a story of rock music separated by decades. A narrative structure encourages students to think too simply about time and music.
Would you recommend it? As a "neutral" guide through American rock, it has a place on a reading list.