Teenage Swifties restored my faith in strangers

Taylor Swift is the last of the monocultural pop icons. Put it this way: I bet you’ve heard of her. Your parents have heard of her. Your children have heard of her – and so have your grandchildren. This used to be commonplace – but not now. She transcends pop music. This might be why so much of the discussion of the Swift phenomenon has been about the facts and figures: hers is the first tour to gross more than $1 billion, while global leaders have begged for her to visit their countries due to the financial boost she brings. Not to mention her tendency to pump out new editions

Rod Liddle

‘Left me stunningly bored’: Brat, by Charli XCX, reviewed

Grade: C I don’t doubt the ingenuity. The mastery of a technology which now exists as a substitute for melody, heart, soul, rhythm and meaning. I get the manifesto, too – a pop music that in a certain shallow sense reflects the modern predilection for meta-fiction: novels which mash up all the genres, so that your detective story suddenly becomes magic realism and a little later, sci-fi. I understand, too, that this is probably the closest our Gen Zers have to a music which they can call their own, given that the technology required to produce it would cause an embolism in a Gen X listener or a Boomer. So