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Jon CaramanicaThe openheartedness of Palmer's writing is refreshing: it addresses different musical styles on their own terms rather than demanding they bend to fit his. His criticism isn't an opportunity for idolatry, but rather for unpacking and understanding. Sure, Palmer has his heroes, too—there are mash notes here to Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Elvis Costello. His profiles of the bluesman Muddy Waters and the minimalist composer La Monte Young are riveting and impassioned, seamlessly meshing personal and technical detail. But Palmer is more likely to worship an idea, or a moment, or a detail, than any one music maker.
—The New York Times