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With its appropriate anagram title Warm Voices Rearranged: Anagram Record Reviews presents a compendium of witty wordplay from the world of classic rock and pop music. There are almost six hundred entries arranged in order of artist. Both the artists' names and the titles of their albums are anagrammed to form apt criticisms of the pieces.

Brandan Kearney, a freelance writer and editor from New York, and Gregg Turkington are clearly masters of their art. A good many of the anagrams in this book are wonderfully accurate in relation to the artists and albums anagrammed.

Virtually every record review in the volume is negative but the authors explain that this is not their fault: "There is much to be said for the view of some sculptors, that their effort is not to shape a block of marble into a man, but to release the man trapped within the stone. Anagrams are not much different; one’s task is not to create, but to find something that already exists." In fact, I came across just one positive criticism in the entire book: Pablo Cruise: "Out of Our Hands" = A fabulous hero's production!

Here is a taster of some of the more damning anagram record reviews:

  • Bad Religion: "Suffer"
       Boring frauds, I feel.
     
  • Blind Melon's "Nico"
       Billions condemn.
     
  • Blood Sweat and Tears: "Three"
       To a sewer, rotten baldheads!
     
  • David Bowie: "Heroes"
       Do beware his video.
     
  • Genesis drummer Phil Collins' solo hit "Face Value"
       So, this foul gremlin evildoer cheapens all music.
     
  • Eminem: "The Slim Shady LP"
       Simply he's the male mind.
     
  • Enya: "The Celts"
       Cheesy talent.
     
  • Genesis: "We Can't Dance"
       Incandescent sewage.
     
  • Jethro Tull's "This Was"
       At worst, just hellish.
     
  • Lard: "Pure Chewing Satisfaction"
       This repugnant cowardice fails.
     
  • Joni Mitchell's "Mingus"
       Is not much... slim jingle.
     
  • Oasis: "Definitely Maybe"
       It's noise, by a deaf limey.
     
  • Procol Harum's "A Salty Dog"
       Ghastly malodorous crap.
     
  • UK's Spice Girls: "Forever"
       Sick of u, perverse girls!
     
  • Neil Young: "Live Rust"
       Ugly, virulent noise.

There is even a three-way anagram. Missing Persons released a CD in 1995 entitled Spring Session M, an anagram of the band's name. Kearney and Turkington offer the anagram review Missing Persons: "Spring Sesion M" = No! Grimness on grimness! Piss! Piss!

The foreword of the book gives an interesting view of anagrams and their mystical connections. All in all this is an entertaining read, perfect for dipping into when you need a laugh. It's a must for any lover of words or music.

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