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EDDIE DEAN’S REVIEW of Bruce Hornsby’s Hot House (Discography, 8/4) provides some lessons on how not to critique music:
1.) Save the venom (calling Hornsby a “VH-1 has-been”) for people who deserve it, such as self-aggrandizing, platinum-selling “superstars” R.E.M. and Michael Jackson.
2.) Review the music and the musician, not his hometown (“he’s still based in his native Williamsburg—the squarest place on the planet”).
3.) Avoid black-and-white, categorical thinking. Pop music with jazz ingredients isn’t “fake jazz”; it’s pop music with jazz ingredients.
4.) Give credit where credit is due: Hornsby’s lyrical outlook and solos may not move you, but admit the fact that he can play circles around any other pianist in popular music.
Silver Spring, Md.