The Listener

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…

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…

Who will be the first woman on the moon?

25 November 2017 9:00 am

Wally Funk is on a mission — to make real her dream that a woman will walk on the moon…

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…

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.…