The Listener

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…

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…

Modishly morose but full of fine moments: LCD Soundsystem's American Dream reviewed

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Number one. Everywhere, just about. You have to say that the man has a certain sureness of touch.…

Reliably exquisite – despite a Trump tirade: The National’s Sleep Well Beast reviewed

9 September 2017 9:00 am

Grade: A– There are plenty of websites where fans try to discern, without any success, what in the name of…

Desperate drivel: Arcade Fire’s Everything Now reviewed

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Grade: D+ Well, this is truly awful. Perhaps the worst album by a major band since Mardi Gras by Creedence…

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Mick Jagger's new ‘anti-Brexit’ songs are a cut-and-paste job

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Two songs in which Sir Michael informs us that he is distressed by both Brexit and Donald Trump. Released with,…

Power, purity and pinpoint accuracy in this new recording of Beethoven’s greatest work 

29 July 2017 9:00 am

When you first encounter it, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis can sound like the Ninth Symphony with more singing but no tunes.…

McGonagall for sad hipsters: Jay-Z’s 4:44 reviewed

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Grade: B – All criticism is pointless, I suppose, given the sheer magnitude of the Shawn Corey Carter machine —…

Beth Ditto was once a riot grrrl – but her latest album is about as edgy as Wilson Phillips

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Boy is she fat, and getting fatter. I realise this is something we’re not meant to mention when talking about…

Peter Perrett’s How The West Was Won is a beautiful work, lush with swirling melodies

24 June 2017 9:00 am

Much though I loved it at the time, not a great deal of lasting worth came out of that fervid…

No one in this marvellously profane genre can touch Snoop Dogg: Neva Left reviewed

10 June 2017 9:00 am

The problem Calvin Broadus has is persuading the rest of us that he still a baaaad muthafucka. Snoop is now…