The Heckler

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…

Teenage Fanclub were one of the best bands of the 90s – as these reissues prove

25 August 2018 9:00 am

Still got your record player? Dig it out. The crunchier the music, the better it sounds on vinyl: a broader…

Sacha Baron Cohen isn't funny – especially when he's mocking the powerless

28 July 2018 9:00 am

Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest series Who Is America? isn’t funny. But then, nor was his terrible 2016 movie The Brothers…

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…

Antony Gormley’s art works better in theory than in practice

30 June 2018 9:00 am

Antony Gormley has replicated again. Every year or so a new army of his other selves — cast, or these…

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…

Detail of Cantata ‘Es ist das Heil’, BWV9

I don't get why people worship Bach

16 June 2018 9:00 am

I don’t get Johann Sebastian Bach. I mean, I get that he was good — no Mozart, sure, but definitely…

More immediate and even more vacuous than before: Chvrches’ Love Is Dead reviewed

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B Another load of SJW moppets keening over 1980s synths. ‘It only takes two seconds to say: I don’t…

A Bowie tribute album: Arctic Monkey’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino reviewed

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Oh, terrific — a concept album about a 1970s hotel somewhere in space, plus an attack on our…

Belly, the band responsible for one of my favourite 90s songs, is back

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B+ One of my favourite songs from the 1990s was about a Chinese adulteress forced to walk around town…

Kylie’s latest album is truly appalling: Golden reviewed

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Grade: D– Kylie has a place in my heart for having made the second-best single to feature the chorus ‘na…

Thank you, West Midlands, for the blind alley of heavy metal – blues without rhythm, wit or soul

31 March 2018 8:00 am

They’re still alive, then. Chuggedy-chug, grawk, screech screech, chuggedy-chug. First mention of demons — line one, song two. Song one…

Vince Staples is Christian, yet it’s hard to imagine Jesus singing along to GTFOMD

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Another ex-Long Beach crip replanted in pleasant Orange County via the conduit of very large amounts of record…

Nils Frahm is clever with textures – but it's the melodies which drag you in

10 March 2018 9:00 am

Grade: A Here we are in that twilit zone where post-techno and post-ambient meets modern classical, a terrain that has…

Franz Ferdinand take disco and make it rather glorious: Always Ascending reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Grade: A Yay, people with a modicum of wit. They come along so very rarely these days. A decade on…

Why do sweet, tender young lefties like MGMT love the decade of Reagan and Bush Snr?

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B Horrific memory, flooding back, halfway through the track ‘TSLAMP’ (Time Spent Looking at My Phone). It was the…

Rod Liddle finds his inner SJW listening to Justin Timberlake

10 February 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B– Hey, here comes Justin, the ‘President of Pop’ and ‘one of the greatest all-around entertainers in the history…

R&B landfill: Craig David's The Time is Now reviewed

27 January 2018 9:00 am

Grade: D– You’re in a minicab, on the way home from some bash that was considerably less pleasing than you…

A recording that makes you realise Les Troyens is one of the greatest operatic masterpieces

16 December 2017 9:00 am

Grade: A-   Berlioz’s Les Troyens, one of the greatest operatic masterpieces, manages to be neglected even if it is…

If you like Schoenberg, you'll like Björk's Utopia

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Grade: A A dimbo pop reviewer for one of our national newspapers suggested that on this album, her ninth, Björk…

She is a severely limited songwriter – and singer: Taylor Swift's Reputation reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Grade: D+ I was suckered in by the brio of Taylor Swift’s first big single, ‘Love Story’, despite the clunking…

Oh dear Jesus... Liam Gallagher's As You Were reviewed

4 November 2017 9:00 am

Grade: C+ There was a certain thrill to be had from that first Oasis album, Definitely Maybe. Liam’s yob howl…

London needs a new concert hall – but this is not it

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Even in a Trump world where reality is what you say it is, the London Symphony Orchestra’s announcement of a…

St Vincent may be this decade’s Prince

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Grade: A The old Tulsa sound was a rather agreeable low-key, shuffling, blues-inflected rockabilly — primarily J.J. Cale and Leon…

Cultural regeneration is a racket

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Twenty years ago I wrote of the otherwise slaveringly praised Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao: I’m in a minority of, apparently,…