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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.

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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.