Rap

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…

What a genuine delight to be among people: Gorillaz, at the O2, reviewed

21 August 2021 9:00 am

The new music economy relies on cross-promotion and artists reaching out to different scenes. And the rise of streaming means…

You won’t be able to look away: Shirley reviewed

31 October 2020 9:00 am

This week, two electrifying performances in two excellent films rather than two mediocre performances in the one mediocre film —…

In defence of Prince’s late style

20 June 2020 9:00 am

In 1992 Prince released a single called ‘My Name Is Prince’. On first hearing it seemed appropriately regal. Cocky, even.…

Rap that feels like a sociology lecture: Loyle Carner at Alexandra Palace reviewed

30 November 2019 9:00 am

A few years ago, I asked the young American soul singer Leon Bridges — a latter-day Sam Cooke, with the…

The Maze Prison in 2006. Photo: REX/ Shutterstock

What are the writers of The Archers trying to achieve with the Freddie Pargetter story?

27 October 2018 9:00 am

‘I’m not here to rehabilitate,’ says Pamela, who teaches creative writing to prisoners in Northern Ireland. She doesn’t think of…

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…

St Vincent’s Massediction 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.…

Album cover

England Lost/Gotta Get A Grip

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,…

Jay-Z: 4.44

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Grade: B – All criticism is pointless, I suppose, given the sheer magnitude of the Shawn Corey Carter machine —…

The Heckler: Why I’m allergic to Stephen Sondheim

21 March 2015 9:00 am

I came out in a rash when I heard that Emma Thompson was to star in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd…

Signifying Rappers, by David Foster Wallace - review

14 September 2013 9:00 am

Since his suicide, David Foster Wallace has made the transition from major writer to major industry. Hence this UK issue…