Tom Reynolds | Touch Me, I’m Sick (Chicago Review Press, 251 pgs.)

book_reynolds.jpgThe 52 Creepiest Love Songs You’ve Ever Heard







A couple years back, Elimidate producer Tom Reynolds delivered I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You’ve Ever Heard. The book was funny if trifling; I’m pretty sure I made it to the, chuckling now and then at Reynolds’ sarcasm and investigative skills.

Now Reynolds returns with yet another book in the same vein, Touch Me, I’m Sick: The 52 Creepiest Love Songs You’ve Ever Heard. Sound a tad familiar to his last book? Yes, indeed—and that does not work to his favor.

It seemed an easy enough read; perhaps it would inspire full-on laughs where its predecessor did not. Unfortunately, what began with some promise turned out to be merely more of the same.

Oh, of course Reynolds investigates a number (52) of well-known and not-so-well-known depressing and disturbing songs that are, oddly, love songs of a sort. But as I read through the contents ("Every Breath You Take," The Police; "Creep," Radiohead; "Fergalicious," Fergie), grouped into categories (i.e., "Hopelessly Devoted to You," "Love’s Just Another Word for I Want to Eat Your Liver," "Little Ditties About Oral Sex and Masturbation"), it all felt like rehashing, more of the same.

I’ll admit that I was here and there amused, one example being the skewering of Starland Vocal Band’s "Afternoon Delight":

"A creepy ode to daylight boffing, ‘Afternoon Delight’ was released in 1976 by the Starland Vocal Band, one of the lamest musical acts ever. How lame? One of their singers was named Taffy. Nobody should ever be named Taffy, be it a dog, hamster, rhesus monkey, piranha, or female vocalist of a pool-cue-up-the-ass painful seventies group."

Did those words make you laugh out loud? Didn’t think so. Bring a smile to your lips? More likely.

And that’s how it goes, Reynolds setting the stage with background on the artist and song, then diving into the words and sounds therein. Over and over, 52 times to be exact.

I’ll admit I passed the halfway point then abandoned the book; I couldn’t take another interpretation. Unless you’re a tremendous fan of Reynolds’ sarcasm (say, you loved I Hate Myself; more power to you), this is one that’s probably best left on the shelf. | Laura Hamlett

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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