Let's talk about Carl Wilson. In 2007, Continuum published the Canadian music critic's Let's Talk About Love, the 52nd volume in the critically acclaimed 33 ⅓ series. While previous editions focused on albums favourited by the authors, Wilson's book was unique because it looked at the career of none other than Celiné Dion, who was loathed and mocked by writers yet beloved by millions in her home province of Quebec and around the world. Beginning with March 23, 1998, the night the singer performed and won the Best Song Oscar for her ubiquitous Titantic theme song "My Heart Will Go On", he traces Dion's career from growing up the youngest of fourteen children to becoming a household name and having residencies in Las Vegas, while looking at the bigger picture of taste. The book became one of the most praised entries in the series and even landed the author on an episode of The Colbert Report.
Today Wilson's the music critic at Slate and contributes to a number of other publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Hazlitt, The Globe & Mail, and others, writing about everything from cross-dressing circus performers to a scathing (but fair) takedown of everybody's favourite dad rockers The National.
Recently a new edition of Let's Talk About Love was published, featuring an update from the author and essays related to the book from others including NPR Music's Ann Powers, James Franco, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, and Canadian musician Owen Pallett. The day of his Toronto book launch - some what appropriately the day after a Quebec election - Wilson sat down to talk about the province's most famous cultural export, why Justin Bieber might be more like Paul Anka than you think, and the dreaded p-word.