The writing is more even. Though there’s not anything that stands out as just the best thing ever, neither are you slogging through a bunch of WTF? The poetry is fine, though nothing is going to top last year, which was just amazing and made me want to wallpaper my house with it. And the writing about the songs and artists on the CD does appear to have been written by people who knew which songs and artists were going to be on the album, instead of just writing some stuff about how any old song by that artist might make you feel and hoping that it applies.
And then there’s really nice moments, like this one from Kevin Nutt’s piece on Rev. Utah Smith:
He turned his amp all the way up. He answered his guitar with whoops and hollers, singng lyrics, then chanting or preaching the words. Smith would don life-sized white angel wings hooked to invisible wires with which he’d soar around the temple without missing a note, according to New Orleans r&b legend Ernie-K-Doe, who attended gospel programs at the Two Wing Temple. Another report from Baton Rouge during the mid-1950s claimed that he flew around the church without the wires.
What was his secret? He sold his soul to the Holy Ghost.
That’s so nice. Just a nice bit of writing.