Music There have been a number of mean spirited reviews accompanying the release of Norah Jones' second proper album Feels Like Home. The Guardian gave it a solitary star and the nitwits on Radio Four's Saturday Review variously described how it sent them into a coma and or cheesed them off because it isn't as innovative as rap music. I refused to review her first piece on the grounds that it was perfect and I'm going to do the same here ...

Travels with Matsui



[Because some music is so good it's beyond review. If you like real music at all you'll like this.]

But .... most of the negative reviews I have read seem to be pointing towards what isn't here rather than what is. I read one piece (online I think) by a writer whose only reason for not liking it was that Jones doesn't write all her own material. But this is a genre in which that's never essential. She's also grouped in with Dido as an example of the softening of musical taste, a blanding out if you like. Which is a fine interpretation if you're stupid enough not to notice that they're completely different types of music. Also why is it wrong that a country/blues fusion record should turn up at number one in the charts and have a crossover appeal which attracts people like me and people like you, and feature the only Dolly Parton performance it's OK to love? I haven't heard either camp complaining so why are they, as though its a Hooked on Classics attempt at accessibility? Yes, it's not profound. It's not going to change the world. It is musical comfort food, as reaffirming as a cappuccino or chocolate fudge cake and the perfect thing for winding down to. And that is OK, especially and I hate to remind, in days like these...

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