The Unexpected Joy of Bad Reviews

Or maybe it's just me!

I have one Amazon review of my first album ‘Can’t Clip My Wings’. It is not of the whole album, the reviewer could not bring himself/herself to listen beyond one song – The Man With the Child in His Eyes. Their review is:

As I read it again, I am giggling. I recognise this is an unusual response to brutal personal criticism, and I don’t know why it affects me like this – but it’s better than tears.

I feel ‘limp’ is not accurate, but I have some sympathy with ‘tortured’. But overall, I feel the listener misunderstood my intention, which was not to sing it better than Kate Bush. My version is an homage to a song of unique beauty by an artist of unique genius. It is not a cover, not an impersonation, not an imitation, and certainly not an attempt to improve on perfection. I may (or may not) sing limply 😂, but I am not a fool.


No such thing as a bad review?

The story does not end here. I only discovered the review, which was posted four years after the album was released, because I started to get emails like this.

Dear Nazneen,

I don’t usually write to artists, but I wanted you know how much I loved your Man with the Child in His Eyes. It’s beautiful. I thought I’d hate it but he’s wrong. Don’t let the b******s get you down, and please keep singing.

Sadly for the reviewer their criticism backfired, they encouraged people to listen – perhaps to check out just how bad my version was – and converted several people to supporters. That’s worth a smile!


The Man With the Child in His Eyes

Here is my version of this classic song. It is one of my most popular songs on Soundcloud, and many lovely people took the time to write many lovely comments.

Public opinion is always swings-and-roundabouts.

I’m just grateful to be in the playground.

Yours hopefully,

Nazneen xxx


Yours Hopefully is an experiment in living hopefully. With music and musings, from a singer-songwriter-scientist. Why not subscribe and get a post every Sunday in your inbox?