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Barney Hoskyns: Hotel California – Singer-Songwriters & Cocaine Cowboys in the L.A. Canyons, 1967-1976

Nick Coleman, Independent on Sunday, 13 November 2005

DOES NARCISSISM have a sound? If it does, it is surely a dulcet, soft, melodic, tender sound. The music – for narcissism is nothing if not awfully musical – is shaped by the strumming of acoustic guitars, singly or in banks, and the deployment of lightly struck drums in the most regulatory and unobtrusively supportive style. And let's not forget the closely harmonised voices that are heard everywhere in chorus, standing as they do in the mind's ear for the close working of angelic inner feeling. The music will need to be brightly lit too, both from a high sun and from within. And the words will be poetically revealing. They will reveal only what is important and true about the self. The singer will have a centre parting. Occasionally a moustache.

Total word count of piece: 698


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