The Listener

Reliably odd but the deranged proggery grates: King's Mouth by The Flaming Lips reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B- So a queen dies as her giant baby is being born. The baby grows very big indeed and…

Hideously tasteful elegies to useless country singers: Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B– The first Springsteen song I ever heard was ‘Born To Run’, back when I was 14. I clocked…

Much as I admire Morrissey's refusal to conform, I don't much like his music

8 June 2019 8:00 am

Grade: B Rock stars who utter something a little gamey, something a tad right-wingish, are usually coerced by the lefties…

Maybe the best thing this skag head's ever done: Peter Doherty & the Puta Madres reviewed

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Grade: A Old skag head’s back, then — older (40 now!), probably none the wiser, still a very good songwriter.…

Thick 12-year-olds listen to Ariana Grande, smart ones to Billie Eilish

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Grade: A– If your 12-year-old daughter’s a bit thick, she probably likes Ariana Grande. Come on, dads — you’ve got…

Magnificently incoherent: Royal Trux’s White Stuff reviewed

9 March 2019 9:00 am

Grade:A Royal Trux are back — kind of. Singer (if that’s what you want to call what she does) Jennifer…

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…

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…

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…

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…

St Vincent’s Masseduction is my album of year (in that I don’t actually hate it yet)

16 December 2017 9:00 am

This has not been an appalling year for pop music — it was better than 1984, for example, and 1961.…

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…