What Makes a Musical Genius?

Alan Light at the New York Times:

“There is nothing I could write in this book or tell you that would help you get to know me,” writes Sinead O’Connor in her new memoir, REMEMBERINGS (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 304 pp., $28). “It is all in the songs.”

Whether she really believes this or not, it’s not a bad point — but audiences clearly don’t feel the same. As a batch of new books demonstrates, efforts to get closer to the mysteries of musical expression continue to come in many forms — history, criticism, autobiography and various combinations thereof. In the absence of live music during our pandemic year, there’s been a flood of music-related stories, especially onscreen, with both documentaries (the Bee Gees, Tina Turner) and dramatic narratives (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Sound of Metal”).

more here.