Scott Adams
Orlando, Florida

Sweet Crybaby Paula: More Heroin-Addicted Depressives, Please
For John Floyd's information, "Your Smiling Face," penned by James Taylor, was written for his daughter Sally when she was a baby. It is not a love song. As for "Sweet Baby James," it is not about him. It too was written for a baby -- Alex Taylor's son was named after James. Does Mr. Floyd have any clues at all as to what this man is about?

Yes, he is sensitive and, yeah, a romantic. I for one think there should be more people like him and his family. They are all warm and kind individuals. You couldn't meet nicer people. I sense maybe a bit of jealousy on Floyd's part. Maybe he should listen as well as James does. Maybe feeling a bit would help too. Not everyone is a "rocker" or needs to be.

I think this middle-aged bald man has a lot to be thankful for, and he knows it. He has never been smug or condescending to anyone that I know of. I hope he didn't read Floyd's article because, as you know, James is sensitive. I hope he keeps up the good work for a long time to come. I can't think of many others who have had such a long career.

Paula Burger
Glastonbury, Connecticut

Sweet Crybaby Jamie: Invite Floyd to Your Next Party
Floyd must be fun at parties. I don't believe I have ever read a music review that was so degrading. I have often though how difficult it would be to write music criticism, having to listen to all different types of music and give an objective opinion, even about types of music that one might not be particularly fond of.

It is clear to me that Mr. Floyd has very little time for James Taylor's type of music. While he is not the greatest songwriter in the world, he has created a great deal of music that is loved throughout the world. It is one thing to give someone a bad album review, but to bash a successful 30-year career -- that is downright unfair. Does Floyd ever have anything nice to say about anyone?

Jamie Breen
Newtown, Pennsylvania

Sweet Crybaby Sarah: Ban Personal Preferences from Criticism
It's so nice to know that John Floyd continues the grand journalistic tradition of unbiased reporting. His attack on all things James Taylor suggests that he has a serious problem with objective reporting. I understand and respect the fact that Mr. Floyd may not like the type of music that James Taylor writes and sings. I do not, however, believe that his personal preferences should have been the main focus of his article. If his intention was to write a feature about James Taylor, then I should have been reading about James Taylor, not this arrogant hack's opinion of what he considers to be good music.

Sarah Young
Tallahassee, Florida

Sweet Crybaby Debbie: The Pen Is Wimpier Than the Simp
I rarely pay much attention to critics because, quite frankly, I don't see the need for them. They simply write opinions, usually no better or no worse than mine. Music is one of the most subjective of art forms, and it should be reviewed as such. Mr. Floyd's review was written with neither objectivity nor diplomacy, and I felt it was insulting and offensive.

His venomous pen refers to Mr. Taylor as the "mouthpiece for sensitive fortysomethings" and his following as people who need someone who can express their thoughts and feelings for them. What a jaded and ignorant view of the world Mr. Floyd must possess to write such a cynical and pious review!

Debbie Watson
Pine Hill, New Jersey

Sweet Crybaby Bill: London Calling -- Dump Floyd!
John Floyd's denunciation of James Taylor and his music as a "hodgepodge of ... love-song goo" makes me wonder why critics bother writing about artists they patently do not like. As an exercise in sharpening his skills as a cynical hack, he succeeds. But as someone who may have heard James Taylor but clearly has never listened with an open mind, Floyd demonstrates his own arrogance.

Taylor has provided a meaningful soundtrack to the lives of many people, not just sensitive fortysomethings. Floyd claims he's a sensitive wannabe. Showing off in print like that, he'll never make the grade.

Bill Jones
London, England

Sweet Crybaby Annette: Quick, Get Her a Blanket and a Pacifier
Hurt is how I felt when I read John Floyd's article on James Taylor. In this day and age, a simple existence is what many of us crave, leaving the rat race behind for a little bit of peace and quiet. I remember listening to James Taylor when I was just a small child. When I hear his music, I feel safe and loved.

Maybe Floyd longs for the complexities of some singer-songwriters. I find James Taylor's songs the kind that one can listen to over and over. No, his writing isn't comparable to the great musicians mentioned, but his songs do have a place in my heart. His soothing voice, singing songs new or old, gives me the giddy, head-over-heels-in-love feeling that Floyd spoke of. That's the beauty of music. To each his own.

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