An Ideal for Living: A Celebration of the EP (Extended Play) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Corey duBrowa & Friends

An Ideal for Living: A Celebration of the EP (Extended Play)

Published by Hozac Books

Jun 19, 2024 Bookmark and Share

Next up from the publisher who brought us two brilliant volumes of The White Label Promo Preservation Society: Flop Albums You Ought to Know comes An Ideal for Living: A Celebration of the EP. And whereas the former presented wonderfully exhaustive highlighting of albums that fell under the radar, An Ideal for Living brings the same literary analysis and exploration to that mysterious not-quite-a-single/not-quite-an-album release, the EP.

In it, esteemed music journalist and his friends joyously romp their way through the oft overlooked musical format in examination of the best 200 EPs of all time. After a forward by Spoon’s Britt Daniel and an introduction where duBrowa defines the format, provides historical context, and sets forth his conceit for the book (and don’t forget the spectacular front and back cover art by the inestimable Joan LeMay), the rest of An Ideal for Living selects and reviews the best EPs released from the 1950s through the 2010s, ordered alphabetically and by decade, and with cover art to accompany each.

DuBrowa and his fellow writers’ reviews are best when they come with personal anecdotes and reflection or are clearly contextualized within the history of the band’s catalog, and this is often the case. And while reading cover to cover a book of what is essentially album reviews across different eras, genres, and format can be at times tedious, a careful reading provides the perfect encapsulation of what the EP has meant for music, how it has changed over time, and the importance it has had throughout the decades.

The book ends on a high note, with what the authors have agreed upon as the best 25 EPs of all time, spanning genre and era. See how many you have already heard and buy or stream the ones you haven’t. You’ll be happy you did. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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