Taking the long view on popular music


A losing game: Amy Winehouse at her Camden Town home in 2004. Photo: Karen Robinson/The Guardian
Mawkish tabloid fare: how the Amy Winehouse film fails
By Kate Mossman - 02 July 15:02

This film laments the way Winehouse's life was intruded upon while relying on the same methods to create drama.

Perfect wavelengths: the new Blur album is a smooth blend of separate interests. Photo: LINDA BROWNLEE (BLUR), REX
Big audio bounceback: new albums by Blur and The Prodigy reviewed
By Kate Mossman - 01 May 8:28

The Albarn-Coxon concoction sounds surprisingly robust.

Kim Gordon. Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MOCA
Writing the end: Kim Gordon's autobiography is a thoughtful story from inside an epic band
By Kate Mossman - 26 February 14:19

Girl in a Band reaps the rewards of its introspective author with a pan-American story that will engross fans and non-fans alike.

The Sex Pistols in 1977, with Johnny Rotten third from left. Photo: Getty
Johnny Rotten: “You find the truth by ridiculing yourself”
By Kate Mossman - 22 December 16:35

NS pop critic Kate Mossman talks to the former Sex Pistol about Ed Miliband, Ukip and “men’s dangly bits”.

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.