The Listener

God, it's slight: Lindsey Buckingham's new album reviewed

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Grade: B– The first time Lindsey Buckingham had a big falling out with Stevie Nicks we at least got some…

Repetitive, spiritless, god-bothering music: Kanye West's Donda reviewed

4 September 2021 9:00 am

Grade: C– The nicest thing one can say is that this is a marginally better album than we would have…

Hugely unmemorable: Billie Eilish's Happier Than Ever reviewed

14 August 2021 9:00 am

Grade: C+ Time to get the razor out again — Billie’s back. The slurred and affected can’t-be-arsed-to-get-out-of-bed vocals. The relentless,…

Is there anyone more irritating and stupid than Bobby Gillespie?

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Grade: B– Is there anyone in rock music more irritating and stupid than Bobby Gillespie? The rawk’n’roll leather-jacketed self-mythologiser. The…

Whiny, polite and beautiful: Kings of Convenience's Peace or Love reviewed

3 July 2021 9:00 am

Grade: A– The problem with Norwegians is that they are so relentlessly, mind-numbingly pleasant. Well, OK, not Knut Hamsun or…

Annoying but good: Black Midi's Cavalcade reviewed

12 June 2021 9:00 am

Grade: A– Imagine a really disgusting and immoral scientific experiment in which the members of Weather Report, the Mahavishnu Orchestra,…

The Byrds without the drugs: Teenage Fanclub's Endless Arcade reviewed

22 May 2021 9:00 am

Grade: B– Advancing age has smoothed the edges of Bellshill’s finest lads, once — back in the early 1990s —…

Tom Jones is as nuanced a vocalist as Ian Paisley

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Grade: C Revisionism has been extraordinarily kind to Tom Jones, ever since he barked his way through Prince’s ‘Kiss’ with…

Demi Lovato makes Taylor Swift resemble Dostoevsky

17 April 2021 9:00 am

Grade: Z If you wish to experience the full hideousness of Now, of our current age, condensed into one awful…

A criminally underrated songwriter: Matthew Sweet’s Catspaw reviewed

6 February 2021 9:00 am

Grade: A– The early 1990s were a lovely time for rock music: Beck, Sparklehorse, Sugar, Green on Red and Royal…

Proudly ridiculous and wholly glorious: KLF's Solid State Logik reviewed

30 January 2021 9:00 am

Grade: A What a miracle the KLF were: an elaborate practical joke at the expense of the music industry, seemingly…

As pretty as anything he’s written in four decades: McCartney III reviewed

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Grade: A-   The greatest songwriter of the 20th century, or just one of the top two or three? Who…

Make Status Quo sound like Stockhausen: AC/DC's Power Up reviewed

5 December 2020 9:00 am

Grade: C The fear is this: you’re wearing a leather jacket and hipster jeans and think you look cool, but…

Turn it up and feel the walls shake: John Wilson's Respighi reviewed

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Grade: A The strings rear up, there’s a flash of steel from the trumpets, and ten seconds into Respighi’s Feste…

I’ve heard worse things — the death rattle of a close relative, for example: Kylie’s Disco reviewed

14 November 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B– Uh-oh. Might have to be careful here, pull my punches a little bit. The editor is a big…

The sound of pop eating itself and throwing up: A.G. Cook’s Apple reviewed

3 October 2020 9:00 am

Grade: A The future, then. The sound of pop eating itself, throwing up into a bag and then getting a…

More mimsy soft rock from Cat Stevens: Tea for the Tillerman 2 reviewed

26 September 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B– Time has been kind to Cat Stevens’s reputation — his estrangement from the music business and rad BAME…

Virtuosic but slight – always prog’s problem: The Pineapple Thief's latest reviewed

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B– Of all the various subdivisions in that wheezing and crippled phenomenon that we call rock music, prog has…

There's scarcely a dull track: Deep Purple's Whoosh! reviewed

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Less deep purple than a pleasant mauve. Ageing headbangers will note a lack of the freneticism that distinguished…

Fine tunes and spacey, quiet grandeur: Taylor Swift’s Folklore reviewed

1 August 2020 9:00 am

Grade: A- This is worrying — like listening to a speech by David Lammy and finding yourself, against your better…

Ranges from the slight to the first-rate: Neil Young’s Homegrown reviewed

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Neil Young has been mining his own past very profitably for a long time now, disinterring a seemingly…

Contains the loveliest new song I've heard in decades: Bob Dylan's new album reviewed

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Grade: A ‘Rough’ in terms of the mostly spoken vocals, but only ‘rowdy’ if you’re approaching your 80th birthday, which…

Skates on the edge of parody: The 1975's Notes on a Conditional Form reviewed

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Just what you wanted. An opening track that matches banal piano noodling to an address by Greta Thunberg.…

Beautiful voice, pretentious album: Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters reviewed

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Grade: C+ Where did they all come from, the quirky yet meaningful rock chicks who don’t have a decent song…

Haunting and beautiful: Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus’s Songs of Yearning reviewed

11 April 2020 9:00 am

Grade: A It has taken 33 years — during which time this decidedly strange Liverpool collective have put out only…