albums

More mimsy soft rock from Cat Stevens: Tea for the Tillerman 2 reviewed

26 September 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B– Time has been kind to Cat Stevens’s reputation — his estrangement from the music business and rad BAME…

Virtuosic but slight – always prog’s problem: The Pineapple Thief's latest reviewed

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B– Of all the various subdivisions in that wheezing and crippled phenomenon that we call rock music, prog has…

There's scarcely a dull track: Deep Purple's Whoosh! reviewed

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Less deep purple than a pleasant mauve. Ageing headbangers will note a lack of the freneticism that distinguished…

Why imperfect operas like Don Carlo are more interesting than perfect ones

8 August 2020 9:00 am

In the 62 years since I first heard and saw Don Carlo, in the famous and long-lasting production by Visconti…

'Cocaine addiction is time-consuming': the rise and fall of Kevin Rowland and Dexys

8 August 2020 9:00 am

Michael Hann talks to Kevin Rowland about Dexys, insecurity and the cocaine years

Ranges from the slight to the first-rate: Neil Young’s Homegrown reviewed

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Neil Young has been mining his own past very profitably for a long time now, disinterring a seemingly…

Contains the loveliest new song I've heard in decades: Bob Dylan's new album reviewed

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Grade: A ‘Rough’ in terms of the mostly spoken vocals, but only ‘rowdy’ if you’re approaching your 80th birthday, which…

In defence of Prince’s late style

20 June 2020 9:00 am

In 1992 Prince released a single called ‘My Name Is Prince’. On first hearing it seemed appropriately regal. Cocky, even.…

Skates on the edge of parody: The 1975's Notes on a Conditional Form reviewed

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Just what you wanted. An opening track that matches banal piano noodling to an address by Greta Thunberg.…

The musical benefits of not playing live

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Many performers hated playing live. But freed from the stage they often made their best and wildest work, argues Graeme Thomson

Haunting and beautiful: Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus’s Songs of Yearning reviewed

11 April 2020 9:00 am

Grade: A It has taken 33 years — during which time this decidedly strange Liverpool collective have put out only…

The joy of Haydn's string quartets – here are the best recordings

4 April 2020 9:00 am

As Joseph Haydn was getting out of bed on the morning of 10 May 1809, a cannonball landed in his…

Mick Hucknall on women, rejection and cultural appropriation

9 November 2019 9:00 am

What makes someone become a pop star? Sometimes, it’s true, pop stardom arrives by accident, and its recipient responds not…

Woke slogans welded to incompetent grunge: Neil Young’s Colorado reviewed

9 November 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B- Horribly woke boilerplate slogans welded inexpertly to the usual incompetent Crazy Horse grunge. Young and his pick-up band…

Needed a shot of Stolichnaya: The Tchaikovsky Project reviewed

31 August 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B+ I’m not sure about ‘Projects’. Aren’t those what ageing rockers produce, in a haze of sedatives, when their…

Reliably odd but the deranged proggery grates: King’s Mouth by The Flaming Lips reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B- So a queen dies as her giant baby is being born. The baby grows very big indeed and…

Hideously tasteful elegies to useless country singers: Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B– The first Springsteen song I ever heard was ‘Born To Run’, back when I was 14. I clocked…

Mane event: shaggy blond David Coverdale

David Coverdale, lead singer of Whitesnake, talks hair, love handles and ‘sexism’

29 June 2019 9:00 am

‘Invest in your hair,’ advises David Coverdale, a man with a shag of the stuff glossier than a supermodel’s and…

Much as I admire Morrissey’s refusal to conform, I don’t much like his music

8 June 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B Rock stars who utter something a little gamey, something a tad right-wingish, are usually coerced by the lefties…

They. Cannot. Write. Songs: Mumford & Sons reviewed

They. Cannot. Write. Songs: Mumford & Sons reviewed

24 November 2018 9:00 am

Grade: D+ I promise you this isn’t simply class loathing. Yer toffs have contributed to British rock and pop and…

Laudably perverse – maybe album of the year: Cypress Hill’s Elephants on Acid reviewed

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Grade: A+ Easily album title of the year, maybe album of the year. A true bravura offering from these supposedly…

‘I’m unusually disaster-prone’

The man who’s spent 40 years trying (and failing) to become a pop star

8 September 2018 9:00 am

‘I could still be a pop star,’ says Lawrence, sitting on a footstool in his council flat, high up in…

Pretentious jowly mumrock: Neil Diamond’s Hot August Night III reviewed

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Grade: C+ Mumrock. A lucrative genre, dating from the beginning of the 1970s, when Mums suddenly wanted something a little…

The reluctant frontman: Ray Davies

‘I think The Kinks could have found a better frontman’: Ray Davies interviewed

23 June 2018 9:00 am

‘I like your shirt today,’ Sir Ray Davies says to the waiter who brings his glass of water to the…

The best album of the year so far, by some margin

23 June 2018 9:00 am

Grade: A+ While the young bands plunder the 1980s for every last gobbet of tinny synth and hi-hat, the singer-songwriters…