Critical [textual] Reviews of Music

So, there are critical reviews of classical music and operas, the same way there are guides to literature (the SKELETON KEY TO FINNEGAN’S WAKE, etc.). By this, I mean texts that discuss the specific effects for formal choices and methods of arragement (explicating as my Junior English experience reminds me). I don’t know of anything similar that has been written about other forms of music. Sure, people write about how different types of music make them feel and occasionally we get something that describes specific techniques that bands employ to elicit certain responses (like thrash metal and the development of muted-palm picking as a stylistic choice similar an author choosing a metaphor (say Shakespeare’s choice to have Prospero represent how a creation can get away from a creator, etc.)).

A movie will have books (granted, obscure academic ones) dedicated to textual analysis and how very specific elements in the work will be used for specific purposes. Music doesn’t seem to have the same sort of in-depth treatment. Is this because music isn’t inherently useful in the same form? Is this because music is too personal? Because it’s too hard to write about?

Did any of that make sense? It’s entirely possible that there are explications of pop music (or any other sort) that I’m not aware of. However, for every dozen books on Kurt Cobain or Marylin Manson (and then, the books are about their lives, not necessarily their music), there might be one book about specific elements in music and how they’re used to evoke feelings in listeners - but they’re all about how heavy metal is going to make you kill yourself.