The Music Was Just Getting Good

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Pub Date 09 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 09 Jan 2024

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Some good things must come to an end, for new things to begin. Poet Alicia Cook explores this grievous emotion in her latest and final mixtape collection, The Music Was Just Getting Good.

Alicia Cook is back with the highly anticipated final tracklist in her poetry collection of mixtapes, The Music Was Just Getting Good. Following in the footsteps of her first two installments, Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately (2016) and Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back (2020), Cook is closing out her trilogy with a poignant and all too relatable look at the ebbs and flows of life. And why, even during our most difficult seasons, a better day can appear just around the corner.
Spread across 184 tracks (92 poems and 92 blackout poems), each paired with an accompanying song, Cook returns to her evergreen themes of mental health, hope, and recovery, and reminds readers that grief is not reserved solely for death. We may grieve who we used to be, moments that never came to pass, physical places, and, of course, people; people who’ve died, but also those who left, and those we had to leave behind.
A stunning closing number in a timely and necessary collection of work, The Music Was Just Getting Good is the balm your soul has been waiting for.
Some good things must come to an end, for new things to begin. Poet Alicia Cook explores this grievous emotion in her latest and final mixtape collection, The Music Was Just Getting Good.

Alicia Cook...

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ISBN 9781524886202
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 88 members

Featured Reviews

I have not read nor enjoyed poetry so much in a very long time.

With grief fresh in my heart, some of these poems reached deep down into my soul.

Side A was fantastic and it took me a poem (or 3) to realise side B was a blackout version of side A. This new concept of blackout poetry was intriguing.

Mental health being explored made this even more poignant. Nothing, not a thought, not a feeling, not a doubt, was left out. The pages came alive and at some points I could not breathe. Some points I needed to stop to just cry and let that heavy grief lift slightly. Some points made me laugh.

Track 31, 34 and 70 are my favourites. They spoke to me the most.
31: "so when one person dies, a little bit of everyone they ever touched dies along with them"- I cried, no, I sobbed, with the realisation that my heart will forever have a missing piece, and nothing can ever fill that hole.
34: "I am not desentized, I am burnt out" "overwhelmed... tired... exhausted... hives... snapping... apologizing... weird dreams... crying... feeling like the end of the world is at my doorstep" - I felt seen. I could exhale that breath that I've been holding on to for too long. I felt hopeful.
70: "When you hear their belly laugh, smell their scent, swear you see them in a crowd, and your brain forgets for less than a second and you lose them all over again"- the cyclical nightmare that seems never ending. I feel less alone, less crazy, that it is not all just in my head. My thoughts and feelings are valid.

The only reason I do not rate this as a 5 star is that I would have preferred for the blackout to be after the original. 2 sides of the same coin, or should I say tape, yet I had to flip back and forth. I understand why it was done this way, for flow and continuity, however I wanted to see both sides together

Finally, the music- rhythms, tunes and lyrics, made this book of poetry so much more interesting and emotional. Each song enhanced the meaning of each line, and deeply (in no other words that I can use to describe this feeling) tickled my brain!

4.5/5 stars

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Thank you, NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing, for letting me read The Music Was Just Getting Good I'm exchange for an honest review!!

I think this is a really good poetry collection! I love the cassette tape structure, where Side A has 92 poems, all titled "track 1", "track 2" and so on. I could really relate to the narrator a lot of the time, and I saved so many of these poems as bookmarks! How er, Side B was my favourite, as all of the 92 tracks here were blackout poems! I loved reading those, and it's inspired me, as I now want to rest to create some blackout poems myself!! As much as I enjoyed Side A, I wouldn't have minded if the entire collection was blackout poetry... 😁

Solid collection, ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 from me!

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This was one of the most ottoman and soul sucking pieces of poetry I have ever read. I wanted to crawl through my phone and give Alicia the biggest hug multiple times. I am obsessed with the cover and the fact that each poem has an accompanying song— and that the genres changed too. This was incredible.

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The cover is beautiful, and the title is original. The entire book is original, I love how the poems are connected to songs. Many of those songs are in my Spotify lists as well! The songs I didn't know, I looked up on Spotify and that feels very intimate to listen to other people's songs. I also relate to most of the poems. It makes me feel understood and they're written very beautifully. Thank u!

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Loved the layout & concept. if you love poetry then you’ll love this. Poems in Spotify form is what I thought of. But the emotions the playlist bring that we never say. The author really did capture this it feels like to me.

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The concept of this was so cool with side A and side B. I was initially drawn in because of the cover art and I was not disappointed.
The poetry itself is beautiful.

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For someone who knows what a radio player is and a cassette- the cover, concept and format of the book was both nostalgic and refreshing.
This poetry collection is a nod at life- on everything that happens in between the beginning of life and when it ceases. With an array of insights on grief, disappointment, yearning, self awareness, love, lust, communication- it was great sitting with this book, screen in my face and swiping left, track after track. Tracks thirty one and thirty four provided interesting intersections on grief and burnout.
The reference to songs at the end of each poem- reminded me of Amy Winehouse and I got to play her songs-and take in her voice years later.
I would recommend this collection to a reader who has experienced love, loss, and who is searching like we all are-for that point of solace, and reading this book would serve as a companion- briefly.
Thanks Netgalley for the eARC.

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The format of this poetry book is brilliant - side A, side B, as well as the various nods to mixtapes throughout. I also thought the references to different songs were super fun, and I got a thrill of excitement whenever I recognized a song or an artist. This poetry collection is a very thoughtful and melodic take on grief, depression, and loss. The writing was poignant and had a strong voice. I thought the blackout poems composed from the previous poems in the latter half of the book were very clever.

My favorite line: "I dream I am immortal and wake up wanting to die".

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I always enjoy Alicia's poetry so I was really excited to read this collection. There was a lot of relatable poems that I resonated with in this collection.

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“When some were still new enough to cry over losing balloons to the sky, I was losing people.”

Took a little detour from the reading routine I’ve been following the last few days to check out this poetry book. Exploring themes of mental health, addiction, and grief this collection has a poem that will hit home for everyone.

I loved the formatting of this book. “Side A” consists of a collection of poems (titled as tracks), each paired with a song that goes into the same theme. “Side B” consists of blackout poems formed from the original poems from Side A.

I personally found myself able to relate to the majority of the poems in this collection and I really appreciate the contrast between heartbreaking prose and humor. I would absolutely purchase this book to re-read later on.

“The basement door isn’t the only thing in this house that has become unhinged.”

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