Jon Stratton, Jon Dale and Tony Mitchell, eds. An Anthology of Australian Albums: Critical Engagements

Book review by Benjamin Hillier

Context 47 (2021): 93–96.

Published online: 31 Jan. 2022


An Anthology of Australian Albums: Critical Engagements is a welcome addition to the growing body of work that examines Australian popular music from a critical and scholarly perspective. It was conceptualised by eminent Australian musicologist Tony Mitchell as an academic companion to the often excellent work of non-academic journalists examining Australian popular music albums. As such, this book provides a critical perspective on Australian albums across a range of genres, from black metal to hip-hop, singer-songwriters, and the ever-present pub-rock bands that dominate the landscape of Australian popular music. This perspective leads the volume to consider some of these more common topics from new angles, omitting many of the great works of the canon of Australian rock royalty from the 1970s (AC/DC, The Angels, et al.) in favour of significant yet overlooked or marginalised artists. It is also decidedly contemporary in its choice of albums to analyse, with ten of the fifteen chapters focused on albums released in the twenty-first century, thus providing a valuable insight into recent developments in Australian popular music. Finally, the volume’s focus on individual works and albums makes it a useful complement to other scholarly volumes, such as Sounds of Then, Sounds of Now: Popular Music in Australia…

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