Hard to imagine a kindlier record than this – Perry’s cosy armchair voice, the clip-clop rhythm, the profoundly tender lyrics, and that instant, innocent melody. The first time I heard it, a few years ago now, I loathed it at once: it seemed self-satisfied, settled, devoid of the drama I wanted from pop. Now I think I was wrong – about the song first of all; it’s a superb bit of craft precisely because simple contentment is such an un-pop emotion and “Magic Moments” captures it perfectly. I was wrong about contentment, too: despising it is a mark of envy or silliness, in my case probably both. I may not want the particular picket-fenced happiness Como is singing about but I won’t mistake that for rejecting happiness itself.

(But what about that lyric, anyhow? Hayrides, hops, touchdowns – again I’m tickled by the idea that these trigger-images for the ideal American life worked on UK ears as a most wondrous kind of exotica!)

Score: 6

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