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Underrated Rock Book Too!: 200 More Overlooked Albums Written by Jim Santora, Jr.

Review by Gary Hill

I remember when the first book in this series came out, it really captivated me. I actually suggested to the author that he should do another edition. I know I wasn't the first to make that suggestion to him, and I probably wasn't the last. Well, here is that edition.

I would say that I didn't find this one to be quite as essential. It didn't grab me the same way. Part of it might be that the sheen of originality and freshness was gone. More likely, though, I think it's more personal. The first had more albums that I felt connected to on an emotional level. That made me feel more connected to it.

There are still some of those here. For instance, Metallica's Death Magnetic and Yes' Relayer. Overall, though, it seems more disconnected from my tastes, so on a personal level, I just don't relate to it in quite the same way.

Here's what shines through no matter how you feel about the album picks here, though - Jim Santora, Jr.'s passion for an knowledge of the music. Either his tastes are much wider than mine are, or he's better able to get past his personal biases toward the music. He covers such a wide range of music from psychedelia to pop rock to thrash, punk and more, and does it all from a point of deep knowledge and appreciation.

This is still an excellent reference book. Unlike the first one, this does include some albums released after 2015. Again, you are likely to agree with some of the assessments here, and disagree with others. You will probably find some new favorites that you never heard before, too. It's also likely to spark conversations, too. That's the point of books like this really. As such, it's another smashing success.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2023  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at:

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