In Songs in the Key of Black Life , acclaimed cultural critic Mark Anthony Neal turns his attention to Rhythm and Blues. He argues that R&B-often dismissed as "just a bunch of love songs," yet the second most popular genre in terms of sales - can tell us much about the dynamic joys, apprehensions, tensions, and contradictions of contemporary black life, if we listen closely. With a voice as heartfelt and compelling as the best music, Neal guides us through the work of classic and contemporary artists ranging from Marvin Gaye to Macy Gray.
Mark Anthony Neal is Associate Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Program in African and African-American Studies at Duke University. Neal is the author of What the Music Said, Soul Babies, and Songs in the Key of Black Life, all published by Routledge.