Lipsitz's work on music can like the best of Greil Marcus' stuff pull a stray thread on a minor pop single and discover a dense weave of American history. But--for better and for worse--he's far more lucid, far less hallucinatory than Marcus. This book has a single central notion (riffing on the Isley Brothers tune) from the title: our popular music encodes our history and, in its performative enactment of collective memory, seeks to find ways out of oppression, discord, systems and into some new, revitalized, utopian community. The book is essentially a collection of separate essays attentive to that theme, ranging over a fascinating range of materials familiar and not-so. I did occasionally long for just a little bit of that Marcusian mischief, the fucked-up anything-goes chutzpah of books like Lipstick Traces. But I also found myself excited, as this book will be a huge boon for certain classes I hope to teach -- it'll play very well for many kinds of readers.