The Mood-Swing VoteHow Twenty One Pilots channeled Trump-state anxieties and became the biggest new rock band (if they are a rock band) in America.
A Starboy, Not Yet a StarmanThe Weeknd’s sure-to-be-blockbuster new album suggests it’s time for his self-destructive persona to finally kill itself off.
Hey, That’s No Way to Say GoodbyeRemembering the profane prophet Leonard Cohen, gone at the moment we need him most.
The Woman Behind the Meat DressOn her new album Joanne, Lady Gaga grapples with where her stage persona ends and Stefani Germanotta begins.
To Shift the Way the World Is HeardHow “A Change Is Gonna Come” reveals the powers—and the limits—of political pop music.
Solange’s A Seat at the Table Doesn’t Have an Empowering “Message”And that’s exactly what makes it so powerful.
Which Beatle Wrote It? Revolver Edition.Our latest quiz, for the 50th anniversary of the landmark album.
“Blowin’ in the Wind” and “A Change Is Gonna Come”Two iconic protest anthems reveal the deeply interconnected—and interracial—roots of ’60s folk, soul, and rock ’n’ roll.
Frank Ocean and the Wave of Anti-PopOn his new albums, the category-defying singer gives us what we need, though it may not be what we want.
How Michael Jackson, James Brown, and Bruce Lee Inspired a Dazzling Dance Sequence in The Get DownA video breakdown, with a little help from the Netflix series’ choreographers.
How Olympic Gymnasts Choose the Perfect Tacky Songs for Their Floor RoutinesFrom the Sex and the City theme to Madama Butterfly to Queen Bey.
Guilty Feet Ain’t Got No RhythmHow I found faith in the pop elation of George Michael—and why I wish I’d found it sooner.
808s and Heart EyesA new documentary—streaming now—is a nerdy love letter to the revolutionary drum machines.
Why We Need Miranda LambertThe country singer’s new two-disc album could help our two Americas understand each other.
The Return of the Love MovementOn A Tribe Called Quest’s first album in 18 years, its music is, amazingly, as timely as ever.
“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and “Ball and Chain”Why Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin don’t fit into the standard narrative of the ’60s.
“Money (That’s What I Want)” and “We Can Work It Out”Are we living in the Beatles’ world, or Motown’s?
Danny Brown’s Dance Hall of MirrorsOn his captivating new album Atrocity Exhibition, the Detroit rapper makes his mind into a fun house.
How Rock and Roll Became WhiteAnd how the Rolling Stones, a band in love with black music, helped lead the way to rock’s segregated future.
The Drive-By Truckers’ American Band Is the Perfect Album for the Year of TrumpWith songs about racism, police shootings, and immigration, the Southern group is making rock great again.
Introducing “Pop, Race, and the ’60s”A new Slate Academy asks how, across a decade of integration, rock music became “white.”
The Lonely End of the RinkGord Downie and the Tragically Hip led Canadians deep into the mysteries of their national identity. Now they’re saying goodbye.
Why Do We Love Bad Singing?From Florence Foster Jenkins to William Hung to Rebecca Black, America has long been fascinated with failed crooners. But who decides what’s good, what’s good-bad, and what’s just bad?