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.
The Summer of DrakeThanks to streaming, the Billboard 200 is working just like it did in the ’80s, and Views is this year’s Purple Rain.
Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book Is the First True Gospel-Rap MasterpieceOn his newest testament, the multitalented Chicago emcee sings praises to God—and to Yeezus.
How the Rolling Stones Found “Satisfaction”“It did not have to happen. If it had not been written and recorded when it was, who knows? It prevented us from being just another good band with a nice run.”
Lemonade, the Aural AlbumBeyoncé’s new visual album is a spectacle to rival “Thriller.” But how is it as strictly music?
These Turn-of-the-Century Jams Are the Throwbacks of the FutureThe Culture Gabfest builds a playlist.
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.
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?
Since They Left UsAfter 15 years, the Avalanches follow their mashup masterpiece by taking listeners somewhere new.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love RadioheadForget whether they’re “the Last Great Rock Band.” They’re better when you stop taking them so seriously.
The Purple OneBlack or white, straight or gay, rock or R&B, male or female—Prince transcended every category.
Unmastered, but Still Masterful Kendrick Lamar’s Untitled, Unmastered shows another side of hip-hop’s most electrifying performer.
The G.O.O.D. NewsOn his miraculous, profane, gospel-influenced The Life of Pablo, Kanye West takes the long road to Damascus.
He Could Be HeroesDavid Bowie’s true acolytes were the fans who embraced his multiple identities and transformed along with him.
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?