albums

Humour, sweetness and sincerity: Father John Misty's Chloë and the Next Twentieth Century reviewed

23 April 2022 9:00 am

 Grade: A– In which Josh Tillman reimagines the whole back catalogue of 20th-century American pop music (except for rock), tilting…

The awfulness of the Red Hot Chili Peppers has always felt weirdly personal

16 April 2022 9:00 am

Squaring up to the prospect of a new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, I’m reminded of a vintage quote by…

No one should be doing indie rock at 43: Band of Horses's Things Are Great reviewed

2 April 2022 9:00 am

Grade: B That thing, ‘indie rock’, is so well played and produced these days, so pristine and flawless, that it…

See this Russian hip hop star before they arrest him: Oxxxymiron's Beauty & Ugliness reviewed

26 March 2022 9:00 am

Grade: A+ I was going to review hyperpop chanteuse Charli XCX’s album this week, but it was such boring, meretricious,…

Fabulously boring: Weather Station's How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars reviewed

12 March 2022 9:00 am

Grade: C– Anyone remember that TV advert for Canada from the 1980s – a succession of colourful images, including a…

Too neat but it has hooks aplenty: Avril Lavigne's Love Sux reviewed

5 March 2022 9:00 am

Grade: B Yay, life just gets better and better. World War Three and now this. More petulant popcorn pre-school punk…

Pretty astonishing: Black Country, New Road's Ants From Up There reviewed

19 February 2022 9:00 am

Grade: A+ It is not true, fellow boomers, that there is nothing new under the sun nor no good new…

Has the whiff of Spinal Tap: Jethro Tull's The Zealot Gene reviewed

5 February 2022 9:00 am

Grade: C+   I bought the ‘seminal’ Jethro Tull double album Thick as a Brickfrom a secondhand shop when I…

A story of reflection and self-discovery: Anaïs Mitchell's new album reviewed

22 January 2022 9:00 am

Any artist who has habitually written or performed in character — from David Bowie to Lady Gaga — eventually arrives…

Lovely and wistful: Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Barn reviewed

15 January 2022 9:00 am

 Grade: A I have persisted in buying everything Neil Young releases since I first heard On the Beach as a…

In praise of seasonal chart fodder

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Christmas: the most vulnerable time of the year. I heard ‘A Winter’s Tale’ by David Essex on the radio the…

Truly godawful: Ed Sheeran's = (Christmas edition)

18 December 2021 9:00 am

 Grade: C= My wife’s ill with Covid and demanding inexhaustible libations and difficult meals, which she will leave uneaten. The…

Reprehensible – but fun: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's Complete DG Recordings reviewed

11 December 2021 9:00 am

 Grade: B It must have been an interesting day in the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s press office when Blair Tindall’s memoir…

The quiet radicalism of the Chieftains

27 November 2021 9:00 am

Pop quiz time: which act was named Melody MakerGroup of the Year in 1975? The answer is not, as you…

It was cheap schlock then, and it's expensive schlock now: Adele's 30 reviewed

27 November 2021 9:00 am

Grade: C The problem I have is that I thought she was pretty awful before — when she was just…

Decent dream pop: Beach House’s Once Twice Melody reviewed

20 November 2021 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Everything these days devolves to prog — and not always very good prog. Where once synths were vastly…

Oh dear, Abba’s new album is a bit of a dog: Voyage reviewed

6 November 2021 9:00 am

Time has been very kind to Abba. No one back in the 1970s thought of them as geniuses. But they've even lost the talent for writing memorable tunes

The death of the live album

23 October 2021 9:00 am

Next week The The release The Comeback Special, a 24-track live album documenting the band’s concert at the Royal Albert…

The best recordings of the Goldberg Variations

2 October 2021 9:00 am

I sometimes think the classical record industry would collapse if it weren’t for the Goldberg Variations. Every month brings more…

Hugely unmemorable: Billie Eilish's Happier Than Ever reviewed

14 August 2021 9:00 am

Grade: C+ Time to get the razor out again — Billie’s back. The slurred and affected can’t-be-arsed-to-get-out-of-bed vocals. The relentless,…

When musical collaborations go right – and when they go horribly wrong

7 August 2021 9:00 am

Big Red Machine release their second album later this month. It’s a fine name for ten tonnes of agricultural apparatus…

Is there anyone more irritating and stupid than Bobby Gillespie?

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Grade: B– Is there anyone in rock music more irritating and stupid than Bobby Gillespie? The rawk’n’roll leather-jacketed self-mythologiser. The…

Whiny, polite and beautiful: Kings of Convenience's Peace or Love reviewed

3 July 2021 9:00 am

Grade: A– The problem with Norwegians is that they are so relentlessly, mind-numbingly pleasant. Well, OK, not Knut Hamsun or…

How Trojan Records conquered the world

19 June 2021 9:00 am

When Trojan Records attempted to break into the United States music market in the early 1970s, it hit an insurmountable…

A new recording throws fresh light on Mahler's puzzling Tenth Symphony

12 June 2021 9:00 am

There are many Symphonies No. 10 by Gustav Mahler, or none. The situation is rare, if not unique, in the…