Ron Rosenbaum is a first-rate writer, but he’s really outdone himself in his shredding of Billy Joel. (I know. Why bother? Still.) The best part is near the top, where he pulls off a hilarious 180:
Which brings me to Billy Joel — the Andrew Wyeth of contemporary pop music — and the continuing irritation I feel whenever I hear his tunes, whether in the original or in the multitude of elevator-Muzak versions. It is a kind of mystery: Why does his music make my skin crawl in a way that other bad music doesn’t? Why is it that so many of us feel it is possible to say Billy Joel is — well — just bad, a blight upon pop music, a plague upon the airwaves more contagious than West Nile virus, a dire threat to the peacefulness of any given elevator ride, not rock ‘n’ roll but schlock ‘n’ roll?
I’m reluctant to pick on Billy Joel.
Oh, yeah, it’s just killing him.