All I Want for Christmas Is Diminished ChordsWhy Mariah Carey’s immortal holiday classic sounds so darn Christmassy.
The Impersonal Is PoliticalOn her new album, Joanna Newsom—like writer Elena Ferrante and country singer Iris DeMent—performs a vanishing act, in order to make her audience see her more clearly.
What Happened at Slate This Week?Senior editor Forrest Wickman read a few skeptical takes about Trump, Pope Francis, and #BannedBooksWeek.
My Bet With Sinéad O’ConnorAfter I reviewed her new album, she called me and asked me to give her discography another listen. If I changed my mind about her music, I owed her a Happy Meal.
The Musical Omnivore’s DilemmaJim O’Rourke helped take the guilt out of the “guilty pleasure.” On his new album, he returns to find that pop has moved beyond it.
Tween SpiritRevisiting an adolescence spent hunting for Nirvana rarities on CD bootlegs in dusty record stores.
Against “Indie”The comebacks of many flagship 2000s bands show it’s time to eliminate this outdated, insular, and implicitly racist term.
6 ManWhat’s so Canadian about Drake? Our Toronto-based music critic offers his own views from the 6.
One. Feeling. At a. Time.Björk’s Vulnicura, an album about disconnection that will make her listeners feel more connected to her than ever.
Duke Ellington’s Best Album—One of the Best in Jazz—Is Also One of His Least-KnownAnd on a new reissue, it sounds better than ever.
Contemplating Taylor Swift’s NavelA deep gaze into 1989, 1989, and the mystery at the center of the world’s biggest pop star.
Where the Girls At?Jhené Aiko, Marsha Ambrosius, Ledisi, and the other brilliant women of R&B who aren’t getting their due in 2014.
Twilight of the Tween IdolsOn their new albums, Justin Bieber, One Direction, and 5 Seconds of Summer perform the mandatory rites of passage to manhood. Who will take their places in pubescent hearts?
Mr. PopHe created the template for contemporary hit-making. He made Ace of Base the biggest group in the world. And he mentored the most successful songwriter since the Beatles. Why have you never heard of Denniz Pop?
The Problem With “Country for People Who Don’t Like Country”Kacey Musgraves’ new album and America’s ongoing struggle to come to terms with Southern white, working-class identity.
This Is His MusicTracing Ornette Coleman’s influence on punk, rock, hip-hop, and, well, pretty much everything else.
The “How Does a New Orleans Musician Work?” TranscriptRead what Adam Davidson asked singer-songwriter Sarah Quintana about her workday.
Loving U Is ComplicatedHow should white listeners approach the “overwhelming blackness” of Kendrick Lamar’s brilliant new album?
Songs of RevolutionAntony’s Turning, Arca’s Xen, and other art working the fertile territory between genders.
How Even an Old Hipster Can Age GracefullyOn their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.
A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now …The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.