The Listener

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…

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…

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.…

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…

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 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…

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…

Great title – shame about the songs: Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell reviewed

7 September 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Get the razor blades out, Ms Misery is back. Only the truly affluent can immerse themselves in such…

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…

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…

Maybe the best thing this skag head’s ever done: Peter Doherty & the Puta Madres reviewed

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Grade: A Old skag head’s back, then — older (40 now!), probably none the wiser, still a very good songwriter.…

Thick 12-year-olds listen to Ariana Granda, smart ones to Billie Eilish

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Grade: A– If your 12-year-old daughter’s a bit thick, she probably likes Ariana Grande. Come on, dads — you’ve got…

Magnificently incoherent: Royal Trux’s White Stuff reviewed

9 March 2019 9:00 am

Grade:A Royal Trux are back — kind of. Singer (if that’s what you want to call what she does) Jennifer…

1975 was a great year for pop – worthy of a better band than The 1975

1 December 2018 9:00 am

Grade: C A derided year in pop music, 1975 — and yet a great one. The mainstream was horrible, but…

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…

The ideal album for getting rid of guests over Christmas: Yoko Ono’s Warzone reviewed

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Grade: A+ Ooh, you can have some fun with this when the unwanted guests swing by this Christmastide. These are…

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…

What’s not to like about Christine and the Queens? Her music

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B– Ooh goody — a parade to rain on! You wouldn’t believe the hyperbole expended by the rock critics…

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…

Ignore Lily Allen’s sub-adolescent politics – her new album is brilliant

7 July 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Here we go again, then, I thought — another gobbet of self-referential, breast-beating respec’ me bro sputum against…

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…