BOOK REVIEW: A sad song about the music industry

Never has the PR world looked so bleak than through the eyes of Jim Cattone, the new VP of A&R (artists and repertoire) at WorldWide Music.

Never has the PR world looked so bleak than through the eyes of Jim Cattone, the new VP of A&R (artists and repertoire) at WorldWide Music.

Jumping from an independent to a major record label, Cattone finds himself trying to find rock acts at a time when R&B and bubble-gum pop dominate the charts. While Cattone inherits a strong catalog of albums, he gains a tired A&R staff whose job it is to find and promote new acts - with little in the pipeline. At its base, this novel demonstrates the power of the financial and music press. There's the grubby music journalist who tries to sleep his way into receiving advanced album copies, and a starlet diva who slams the company's marketing efforts to Variety. There's also a Wall Street Journal depiction of a gloomy staff with low morale, as well as a CEO hiding in the Caribbean. At its best, this is a good, fluffy read for its cliches and stereotypes, but it lacks anything beyond a cursory inside glimpse at the soulless music industry. ----- Title A&R: A Novel Author Bill Flanagan Publisher Random House, 342 pages Reviewed by Chris Faile, media relations specialist, Deloitte & Touche

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