Pop

Dysfunctional music for dysfunctional people: The Public Image is Rotten reviewed

4 July 2020 9:00 am

A star is born, but instead of emerging into the world beaming for the cameras, he spits and snarls and…

The festivalisation of TV

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Televising Glastonbury has changed the festival, and in turn transformed television, says Graeme Thomson

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.…

As a lyricist, Ian Dury had few equals in the 20th century

13 June 2020 9:00 am

The National Theatre’s programme of livestreamed shows continues with the Donmar’s 2014 production of Coriolanus starring Tom Hiddleston. The play…

The power of cheap music: pop podcast round-up

13 June 2020 9:00 am

Noël Coward was so right that his words have become a cliché: it is indeed extraordinary how potent cheap music…

The problem with mystery podcasts like Wind of Change

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Did the US secretly write a power ballad in order to bring down the Soviet Union? That’s the question behind…

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.…

Joyous and very, very funny: Beastie Boys Story reviewed

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The music of the Beastie Boys was entirely an expression of their personalities, a chance to delightedly splurge out on…

Beautiful voice, pretentious album: Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters reviewed

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Grade: C+ Where did they all come from, the quirky yet meaningful rock chicks who don’t have a decent song…

Livestream-hopping is just as irritating as being at a real festival

2 May 2020 9:00 am

The ghost of Samuel Beckett oversaw the Hip Hop Loves NY livestream last Thursday night. Time and time again its…

Felt longer than the lockdown itself: BBC1's One World – Together At Home reviewed

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

You have to admire the spirit of the organisers of last weekend’s One World: Together at Home concert. To put…

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

Taylor Swift is fascinating – but you really wouldn't want to be her

4 April 2020 9:00 am

There had been some question about whether Taylor Swift’s Netflix special would actually appear. Last year it seemed that the…

Grimly compelling: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour reviewed

14 March 2020 9:00 am

‘No matter what they take from me,’ sang Whitney Houston towards the end of a peculiar evening in Hammersmith, ‘they…

The last great purveyors of a vanishing art form: Green Day’s Fathers of All... reviewed

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B+ It is an eternal mystery to me why Britain has never had much time for power pop, seeing…

Grimes has talent – but not for writing songs: Miss Anthropocene reviewed

29 February 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B The old axiom no longer applies. In modern popular music, it is possible not only to gild a…

Dazzling and nonsensical in equal measure: Madonna at the London Palladium reviewed

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

You might have thought Madonna was not a singer but a professional footballer judging by the talk before she took…

You have to be a terrific snob not to see the appeal of Slipknot

1 February 2020 9:00 am

Every development in heavy music is derided by mainstream critics. When Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin emerged in the late…

Best gig of the week: the fuzzy, slacker melodies of teenage quintet Disq

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Come January, when the proper pop stars are all in the gym working off the pounds before they emerge, blinking…

A son-et-lumière spectacular: The Chemical Brothers at the O2 Arena reviewed

14 December 2019 9:00 am

How does one account for the phenomenon that is the Chemical Brothers, a quarter of a century on from their…

Rap that feels like a sociology lecture: Loyle Carner at Alexandra Palace reviewed

30 November 2019 9:00 am

A few years ago, I asked the young American soul singer Leon Bridges — a latter-day Sam Cooke, with the…

Range and power – and amazingly she sang all her songs: Christina Aguilera at Wembley reviewed

23 November 2019 9:00 am

In every respect bar its austere pews, the Union Chapel is one of the best venues in London: beautiful and…

Fascinating and compelling: Bruce Hornsby at Shepherd’s Bush Empire reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

In the unlikely event that Bruce Hornsby and Morten Harket, A-ha’s singer, ended up featuring in the Daily Mail for,…

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…