Book Review: The Sound of Being Human – Jude Rogers

The Sound of Being Human considers our life soundtracks, with context, emotion and astute observation. Journalist and aficionado, Jude Rogers explores, in detail, why music plays such a deep-rooted role in so many lives, from before we are born to our very last days. Obviously, the book has Jude’s own story at the core of the book with a focus on her own OST, and the songs that had a profound impact on her over the years: whether it was managing the loss of her father at age five, her own sense of self as a lonely adolescence or whether it had a more affecting look to the future.

Shaped around twelve songs, a structure similar to a mix tape compilation, ranging from ABBA’s ‘Super Trouper’ to Neneh Cherry’s ‘Buffalo Stance’, Kraftwerk’s ‘Radioactivity’ to Martha Reeves and the Vandellas’ ‘Heat Wave’, the book fuses memoir and historical, scientific and cultural enquiry to show how music can shape different versions of ourselves; how we rely upon music for comfort, for epiphanies, and for sexual and physical connection; how we grow with songs, and songs grow inside us, helping us come to terms with the more formidable aspect of life. The focus is around music’s power to help us tell our own stories, and make them more pronounced. Rogers gets the balance of the scientific and emotive aspects of the book spot on and at during the 13 tracks (there is of course a secret one at the end), it’s almost impossible not to contemplate your own memoir OST. 

The Sound of Being Human is published by White Rabbit Books

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