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I'll Take You There: Pop Music and the Urge for Transcendence

The Urge to connect with that which transcends our experience, be it a higher power, another person or some aspect of nature, is one of the things that makes us human. People view the object of this quest differently, as well as what it means to achieve or experience it. Yet regardless of how it's understood, the urge to participate in or belong to something greater and more lasting than ourselves - a feeling born of an awareness of our mortality - is what defines us as spiritual beings. Though often dismissed as ephemeral or, worse, satanic, popular music has given voice to this quest for transcendence since its beginnings. Pop singers are rarely as outwardly spiritual as, say, gospel acts; however, they're forever pointing beyond themselves, be it to some higher ideal or vision of deliverance. Heard in the right light, secular and even carnal records have the power to speak to transcendental concerns, occasionally to the point of galvanizing their historical or cultural moments. Regardless of their spiritual leanings, all of the subjects discussed in this book (including Public Enemy, Madonna, Johnny Cash, Nine Inch Nails, Marvin Gaye, Eminem, Polly Harvey, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen) make music that expresses a basic striving for transcendence. Artists' stories and personalities inform these discussions, but only in as much as they illuminate the struggles and concerns that run through their music. I'll Take You There is a beautifully written, wide-ranging and illuminating guide to some of the most potent popular music ever recorded. Was £8.99  NOW £5.99