“The Star-Spangled Banner” is militaristic, syntactically garbled, and impossible to sing. It’s perfect.
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?
All I Want for Christmas Is Diminished ChordsWhy Mariah Carey’s immortal holiday classic sounds so darn Christmassy.
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.
A Different Kind of Summer SongGaze wistfully into the past, and hopefully into the future with Reigning Sound’s Shattered.
It Ain’t Me, Babe Was Dylan really terrible in the ’80s—or had we just forgotten how to listen to him?
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Against “Indie”The comebacks of many flagship 2000s bands show it’s time to eliminate this outdated, insular, and implicitly racist term.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.
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.
His BolognaA mostly fond farewell to pop music’s longest-running—sometimes only running—comedy act, Weird Al.