On Their New Albums, Björk and U2 Offer Utopian Visions for Dystopian Times
But their approaches, and their degrees of success, vary widely.
On Reputation, the “Old Taylor” Is Dead, but the New One Isn’t Quite Ready to Come to the PhoneTaylor Swift’s ungainly, intermittently brilliant new album finds the former child star making art out of her growing pains.
A New History of Rolling Stone Reveals Its Complicated, Compromised Relationship to Rock StarsThe first biography of the magazine’s founder is much more critical than HBO’s conveniently timed new documentary, and it’s a better tribute for it.
Tom Petty Was Rock ’n’ Roll’s Ambassador to the WorldEven if he would have been the last one to admit it.
Crown of LoveArcade Fire’s new album may buckle under the weight of absurd expectations, but it’ll also remind fans how the band got there in the first place.
Ebbs and FlowsOn his new album Big Fish Theory, Vince Staples reunites hip-hop with the dance floor.
Can She Get a Witness?Katy Perry’s hot mess of a new album finds her lonely and lost. Did we help put her in this position?
The Mountain Goats’ Goths Is Great Even if You Don’t Care About the Mountain Goats or GothsThe new album is a leap forward both lyrically and musically.
The Return of the KingOn his quietly eclectic new album, Chris Stapleton refuses to be pegged as country music’s savior—or anything else.
Bob Dylan Is a Great SingerThe Nobel laureate thinks we should laud his singing as much as his “poetry.” He’s right.
Cry Me a River (of White Male Tears)Dirty Projectors’ first release in five years is a one-man breakup album that can’t count on listeners’ sympathies. And it doesn’t.
Why the Williamsburg Bridge Should Be Renamed After Sonny RollinsIt’s time for the New Colossus to be joined by the Saxophone Colossus.
Tom Petty Was a Rock ChameleonHis career quietly spanned subgenres, from new wave to Southern to classic to grunge—anything that was rock ’n’ roll.
Life After CoolOn LCD Soundsystem’s new album, James Murphy’s mock midlife crisis becomes a genuine subdued panic—and makes for some of his most mature music yet.
On Randy Newman’s New Album, America’s Greatest Pop Satirist Grapples With an Unsatirizable AgeAnd not just on the song about Putin.
On Haim’s New Album Something to Tell You, the Band of Sisters Is Better Than EverSo why does it seem worse?
Pop Music’s Identity CrisisSlate’s Carl Wilson on this year’s best summer tunes and how streaming is disrupting the music industry.
Was This It?Every generation of New York rockers romanticizes its era. In the juicy new book Meet Me in the Bathroom, the early 2000s was the golden age.
Praise LordeMelodrama is the best pop album of the year so far—and suggests “pop” isn’t what the singer-songwriter should be making at all.
Sgt. Pepper’s Timing Was As Good As Its MusicFifty years ago, the Beatles released their masterpiece into a world ready to embrace a rock album as art.
Wrong DirectionHarry Styles once teased a homoerotic pop future. So why does his debut album sound like hetero classic rock?
All Fire, No BrimstoneKendrick Lamar’s scorcher of a new album is an urgent sermon for a troubling time.
Drake’s More Life Is Drake’s Best Album Because It Has the Least DrakeAnd that might be the most Drake thing about it.
Stephin Merritt Comes Out—as HumanThe reticent Magnetic Fields impresario returns to the jumbo-sized concept-album format he pioneered with 69 Love Songs, with a surprising new theme: himself.
Trumpeting Alternative FactsThis month, the first jazz record celebrates its 100th anniversary. The bandleader claimed white people alone invented jazz.