The Listener

It's Christmas. You don't want Götterdämmerung. You want a waltz-operetta

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Grade: A– 1898: two Parisiennes and a housemaid secretly invite each other’s partners to the Paris Opera ball and… c’mon,…

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…

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…

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…

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…