Taking the long view on popular music


Old-school grubbiness: the return of Sinéad O’Connor
Sinead O’Connor’s lively, messy and contradictory version of feminism
By Kate Mossman - 08 August 12:09

A concept album of sorts, this claims to chart the emotional experiences of an imaginary woman – from romantic activities to pain, deception and more.

Neil Young.
Review: A Letter Home by Neil Young – a froggy echo travelling up the U-bend of time
By Kate Mossman - 15 May 14:00

A Letter Home was recorded in a Voice-O-Graph booth in Jack White’s “novelties lounge”. With cover songs and lo-fi crackles, it is an object study in the pros and cons of retro audio porn.

Smooth operator: Timberlake onstage with a dancer at Motorpoint Arena. (Photo: Getty Images)
Justin Timberlake, the 20/20 Experience Tour
By Kate Mossman - 01 April 17:06

“This is too good. Will the pleasure never end?” asks Kate Mossman as she witnesses the endothermic showman Justin Timberlake in concert in Sheffield.

Lady in red: Taylor Swift performing at the O2 Arena in London this month
Taylor Swift is for grown-ups, too
By Kate Mossman - 13 February 7:22

Her songs offer the sense of a technicolour future stripped of all but the most worthwhile woes. It's time she stopped the silly pep talks in between and just got on with being a pop star.

Brothers in arms.
High Hopes by Bruce Springsteen: The Boss and his new muse
By Kate Mossman - 15 January 11:03

Springsteen’s ongoing transformation into a collaborative folk act represents a new era in his career.

Do you hear what I hear? The year's festive music wrapped up
By Kate Mossman - 09 January 13:34

R'n'B stylings of classic holiday hits and Cockney staples.

Welcome to the new era of Britney: the head–shaving pioneer of Middle America
By Kate Mossman - 12 December 13:08

With so many writers and a production-driven style, Britney’s voice can sometimes be a lonely thing at the centre.

New Statesman
Lou Reed: Why no one wanted to write his obituary
By Kate Mossman - 01 November 11:41

There's a reason the Lou Reed tributes were so banal.

The Coens' concert.
Meet the folks: The Coen brothers’ musical odyssey continues, on stage and on film
By Kate Mossman - 23 October 9:00

To coincide with the release of "Inside Llewyn Davis", the Coen brothers held a glitzy tribute to American folk - where Marcus Mumford and Carey Mulligan were joined on stage by Joan Collins and Jack White.

Bruce Dickinson.
The strange patriotism of Iron Maiden
By Kate Mossman - 22 August 12:30

Kate Mossman catches the heavy metal giants on their "Maiden England" tour, and is perplexed by their nationalist aesthetic.

New Statesman
Lindsey Stirling, dancing dubstep violinist, is the prototype of a fully interactive pop star
By Kate Mossman - 21 June 14:50

The violin was the start of modern music celebrity - Lindsey Stirling is following in the footsteps of Paganini, Nigel Kennedy and Vanessa Mae.

Laura Marling on stage.
Once I Was An Eagle by Laura Marling: Whenever power emerges, there’s a sense of innocence lost
By Kate Mossman - 23 May 13:19

Her voice, once so English, has turned into a slip-slidey American lilt, half-speech, half-jazz, frequently yoyoing to a deeper register ... In Marling, we’re watching an accelerated transition from youthful talent to artistic sophistication.

Brian Eno: “How can Alastair Campbell have a TV career?”
By Kate Mossman - 16 May 12:40

From Roxy Music to Coldplay - the many faces of Brian Eno.

New Statesman
Reviewed: Songs Cycled by Van Dyke Parks
By Kate Mossman - 10 May 13:14

Revolution in the head.

The world of music is straddled by female Goliaths. Why?
By Kate Mossman - 29 April 8:29

Young women are achieving every kind of musical success, while the idea of the "male pop star" seems to have ground to a halt with David Bowie. What's going on with the boys?

Reviewed: What About Now by Bon Jovi
By Kate Mossman - 27 March 15:31

Hair apparent.

Reviewed: Justin Bieber at the O2
By Kate Mossman - 05 March 12:51

Dazed and deeply confused.

John Grant.
Reviewed: Pale Green Ghosts and The Low Highway
By Kate Mossman - 28 February 12:23

Addictive personalities.

Neneh Cherry in concert (Getty Images)
To Norway, for nostalgia
By Kate Mossman - 20 February 17:56

Debates about the future of music raged at the By:Larm festival in Oslo

Neneh Cherry in concert (Getty Images)
To Norway, for nostalgia
By Kate Mossman - 20 February 17:55

Debates about the future of music raged at the By:Larm festival in Oslo.

The Rolling Stones in London in 1964
Reviewed: A Prince Among the Stones by Prince Rupert Loewenstein
By Kate Mossman - 15 February 10:57

His satanic Majesty: the man who managed the Rolling Stones' money.

Nick Cave performing in 2009
The tight-fitting tunes of Johnny Marr and Nick Cave
By Kate Mossman - 31 January 10:58

Two new albums reviewed.

An HMV store in central London (Getty Images)
Don't blame HMV for its demise
By Kate Mossman - 18 January 10:59

It's our fault - because we're too lazy to support our shops

David Bowie silhouetted as he performs on stage.
David Bowie: The eternal space oddity
By Kate Mossman - 18 January 5:43

Why does Bowie still hold such mythical power?

Do you hear the actors sing?
By Kate Mossman - 17 January 8:30

A story everyone needs to hear at least once.

Björk will be performing her Biophilia album in a circus tent in Paris
Pop in 2013 - Under the influence
By Kate Mossman - 03 January 9:23

What to listen out for this year.

The sounds of 2013
By Kate Mossman - 06 December 13:10

Savages, Haim and Bjork in a circus tent.

Kylie Minogue performs live at the Palace Theatre in Melbourne in March 2012.
Kylie Minogue: the mysterious popstar who can do no wrong
By Kate Mossman - 29 November 11:59

As an album of "reimagined" Kylie songs emerges, Kate Mossman goes in search of the singer herself.

My secret affair
By Kate Mossman - 28 November 15:14

Why '70s power pop is unfashionably cool again

Michael Jackson: The boy in the bubble
By Kate Mossman - 14 November 11:37

Released 30 years ago, Michael Jackson’s album Thriller was the beginning of his assault on the white pop world. It’s so dazzling it makes you forget what happened to Jackson next.