The Listener

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Repetitive, spiritless, god-bothering music: Kanye West's Donda reviewed

4 September 2021 9:00 am

Grade: C– The nicest thing one can say is that this is a marginally better album than we would have…

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,…

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…

The Byrds without the drugs: Teenage Fanclub's Endless Arcade reviewed

22 May 2021 9:00 am

Grade: B– Advancing age has smoothed the edges of Bellshill’s finest lads, once — back in the early 1990s —…

Tom Jones is as nuanced a vocalist as Ian Paisley

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Grade: C Revisionism has been extraordinarily kind to Tom Jones, ever since he barked his way through Prince’s ‘Kiss’ with…

Demi Lovato makes Taylor Swift resemble Dostoevsky

17 April 2021 9:00 am

Grade: Z If you wish to experience the full hideousness of Now, of our current age, condensed into one awful…

A criminally underrated songwriter: Matthew Sweet’s Catspaw reviewed

6 February 2021 9:00 am

Grade: A– The early 1990s were a lovely time for rock music: Beck, Sparklehorse, Sugar, Green on Red and Royal…

Proudly ridiculous and wholly glorious: KLF's Solid State Logik reviewed

30 January 2021 9:00 am

Grade: A What a miracle the KLF were: an elaborate practical joke at the expense of the music industry, seemingly…

Make Status Quo sound like Stockhausen: AC/DC's Power Up reviewed

5 December 2020 9:00 am

Grade: C The fear is this: you’re wearing a leather jacket and hipster jeans and think you look cool, but…

I’ve heard worse things — the death rattle of a close relative, for example: Kylie’s Disco reviewed

14 November 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B– Uh-oh. Might have to be careful here, pull my punches a little bit. The editor is a big…

The sound of pop eating itself and throwing up: A.G. Cook’s Apple reviewed

3 October 2020 9:00 am

Grade: A The future, then. The sound of pop eating itself, throwing up into a bag and then getting a…

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…