What Bright Balkan Morning really needs is another reviewer, someone who can describe a multi-layered and poetic story, dig a densely layered CD, and still find time to say a few perceptive things about what most people would consider to be a lot of photographs.
Nick Mamatas replies: I got the point of the CD. The point was a total misfire. There is no worse way to "de-exoticize" politics than to take snippets of everyday life and present them in a denatured and context-free "soundscape." Further, if Feld had bothered to look at the CD, he would see the CD tracks are not labeled. They are described in the book, not on the CD, and the vast majority of people who listen to a CD are interested in listening to a CD and not in referring to a three-pound book while doing so.
As far as the photographs, some of them were very good, but as a whole they did not really propel or illuminate the narrative. Indeed, to my eye, there was little difference between the family/archival photos provided by the Roma and Blau's own. They didn't elicit a comment from me partially due to space restrictions, and partially due to the fact that they did little to explore multi-layered identities in the Balkans as expressed through music, the very topic of the book.