Pop

A magnificent farewell: Stornoway, at Womad Festival, reviewed

13 August 2022 9:00 am

The greatest pleasure of writing about pop music – even more than the free tickets and records, nice as they…

She’s pop’s Damien Hirst: Beyoncé’s Renaissance reviewed

6 August 2022 9:00 am

You feel a little sorry for Renaissance, the first solo album by Beyoncé in more than six years. It just…

In defence of country-pop

30 July 2022 9:00 am

Sam Kriss on why country-pop is the most modern music there is

As good, and inventive, as modern rock music gets: Black Midi's Hellfire reviewed

30 July 2022 9:00 am

Grade: A+ The difficult question with Black Midi was always: are you listening to them in order to admire them,…

Only traces of their eerie early spirit remain: Kings of Leon, at OVO Hydro, reviewed

9 July 2022 9:00 am

A few years ago, I spoke to Mick Jagger and asked him which of the (relatively) new crop of rock…

Glastonbury has become a singalong event for OAPs

2 July 2022 9:00 am

‘Well, it’s just not Glastonbury, is it?’ said my daughter aggressively, when told that our yurt featured an actual bed,…

The subtleties of her songbook were lost in this enormodome: Diana Ross at the O2 reviewed

2 July 2022 9:00 am

When Motown first packaged up a roster of artists and songs that could be embraced by a non-black audience, no…

The power of cultural reclamation

18 June 2022 9:00 am

‘Version’ is an old reggae term I’ve always loved. It refers to a stripped-down, rhythm-heavy instrumental mix of a song,…

They have the weakest catalogue of any major act: Abba: Voyage reviewed

11 June 2022 9:00 am

One of the biggest talking points in pop these past couple of years has been how successful old musicians have…

Harry Styles has entered his imperial phase – but his music still has no distinct identity

4 June 2022 9:00 am

At the turn of this century, looking back on the late 1980s when the Pet Shop Boys could do no…

I’m not sure they ever reached a fourth chord: Spiritualized, at the Roundhouse, reviewed

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Every so often, Jason Pierce drifts into focus. It happened at the end of the 1980s, when his then group…

A joy – mostly: Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, at Usher Hall, reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

Drummers are patient chaps, in the main. Think of Ringo in Peter Jackson’s recent Beatles docuseries, Get Back. Lolling around…

The perfect pop star: Dua Lipa at the O2 Arena reviewed

7 May 2022 9:00 am

Dua Lipa’s second album, Future Nostalgia, was released at the least promising moment possible: 27 March 2020, the day after…

I would be surprised if his next tour included arenas: Louis Tomlinson at Wembley reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

You don’t need to be a historian of pop to realise that having been part of a huge manufactured group…

‘I came, I saw, I scribbled’: Shane MacGowan on Bob Dylan, angels and his lifelong love of art

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Graeme Thomson talks to former Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan about his first art folio

He is now a family entertainer: Stormzy at the O2 Arena reviewed

9 April 2022 9:00 am

Stormzy occupies a curious place in British pop culture right now. He’s the darling of liberals for all his good…

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…

Felt like being caught on the moors in a storm: Keeley Forsyth, at the Barbican, reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

It took a moment to realise Keeley Forsyth was there. There were already three musicians, faint figures on a dark…

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…

The buzz band of 2022 sound like they're from 1982: Yard Act, at Village Underground reviewed

26 February 2022 9:00 am

One of the curiosities of modern pop’s landscape is that no one knows any longer how to measure success. An…

Expectations were met and then exceeded: Arooj Aftab, at Celtic Connections, reviewed

19 February 2022 9:00 am

We gathered on a freezing Sunday night, inside a barrel-vaulted church designed in the 1890s by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, to…

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…

One of the most exciting hours I’ve spent in ages: Turnstile at O2 Forum Kentish Town

12 February 2022 9:00 am

Even leaving aside its origins as prison slang, punk has always meant different things on either side of the Atlantic.…

Triumphant: Idles at the O2 Brixton Academy reviewed

29 January 2022 9:00 am

The single thing you don’t want when you are beginning a run of four shows in a prestige venue, with…