albums

‘I’m unusually disaster-prone’

The man who’s spent 40 years trying (and failing) to become a pop star

8 September 2018 9:00 am

Michael Hann talks to the critically acclaimed musician who has been trying (and failing) to become a pop star since 1979

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…

The reluctant frontman: Ray Davies

‘I think The Kinks could have found a better frontman’: Ray Davies interviewed

23 June 2018 9:00 am

At 74, Ray Davies is as sharp as ever. Michael Hann talks to him about America, angry groupies and being a reluctant frontman

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…

Musically, politically and culturally, Kanye West is a true original

9 June 2018 9:00 am

Musically, politically and culturally, Kanye West is a true original. Armond White explores the work of the hip-hop maverick

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…

How the Moody Blues only became good once they realised they were crap

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Rarely has one irate punter so affected a band’s trajectory. Without the anger of the man who went to see…

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…

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…

Big hitter: Pete Waterman

Pete Waterman on hits, HS2 and gay clubbing

16 December 2017 9:00 am

Pete Waterman tells Michael Hann how to make a hit record

Why does James Purnell think radio needs to be 'reinvented'?

2 December 2017 9:00 am

At the launch of the Christmas radio schedules last week, James Purnell, director of radio (and much more) at the…

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…

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…

Forget Bowie – our times are ripe for Black Sabbath’s worldview

30 September 2017 9:00 am

To get a reminder of how strange the 1970s were, there’s no need to plough through lengthy social and political…

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.…

Maria Callas as Anna Bolena

The unrepeated and unrepeatable brilliance of Maria Callas

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Michael Tanner on why the impact of Callas is unrepeated and unrepeatable

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…

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…

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…

Thrilling new album from queercore garage punk band PWR BTTM

27 May 2017 9:00 am

How about some queercore garage punk? PWR BTTM — the name means something empowering to do with buggery — are…

Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma, 1969, photography by Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson

The album art that dazzled a generation

29 April 2017 9:00 am

James Walton talks to Aubrey Powell, the man behind the album art for virtually every 1970s rock band you can think of