Tag: Pop and Rock Music

Taylor Swift Releases ‘Me!,’ a New Song Featuring Brendon Urie

After weeks of teasing, Taylor Swift has returned with a new single and a fresh color palette ahead of what would be her seventh studio album. “Me!,” a bubbly pop song by the 29-year-old singer and songwriter, featuring the vocalist Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, premiered on streaming services and as a music […]

Read More

Jazz Fest at 50: The Stubbornness and Joy of New Orleans

It started small, half a century ago, but with a mission. The first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was held in 1970 in Beauregard Square, previously and afterward known as Congo Square, where African drumming and dancing had persisted through the era of slavery. It was modeled on the traditional-music showcases at the Newport […]

Read More

Michael Jackson Musical Creators: ‘We’re Not Judge and Jury’

A Broadway-bound Michael Jackson musical is already stirring controversy, and it hasn’t even been seen yet. Last week, the show’s book writer, Lynn Nottage, stepped into a minefield when she gave an interview to the Daily Mail in which she suggested that she found the two men who detailed abuse allegations against Jackson in a […]

Read More

Diary of a Song: Watch Lizzo Make ‘Juice,’ a Pop Anthem as Irresistible as She Is

Lizzo needed a defining anthem. She found one in “Juice.” A 30-year-old singer, rapper, dancer and flutist, the artist born Melissa Jefferson has become a social media star in recent years, winning over audiences with her absurdist humor, outsize personality and messages of body positivity and black self-love. But as she moved from an underground […]

Read More

Michael Jackson Biographers Face History, and the Mirror

Two years ago, when Joe Vogel agreed to write a new edition of his influential book about Michael Jackson — to be released this summer for the 10th anniversary of the singer’s death — he thought it would be demanding but gratifying work, a fresh opportunity to train his arrow on the most formidable legacy […]

Read More

Critic’s Pick: Cage the Elephant Returns, Suspended Between Rowdiness and Regret

Peace of mind is way out of reach on “Social Cues,” the fifth studio album by the Kentucky rock band Cage the Elephant. On “Social Cues,” the group combines — and revitalizes — two well-worn scenarios: the pains-of-fame album and the romantic-breakup album (the band’s frontman, Matt Shultz, was recently divorced). Both situations call for […]

Read More

Streaming Movie Review: Beyoncé the Creator: ‘Homecoming’ Review

About midway through Beyoncé’s performance at Coachella last year, the booming, disembodied voice of the motivational ad-libber DJ Khaled proclaimed that, henceforth, the music festival would be known as “Beychella.” Unlike almost everything else Khaled pronounces in his music and on social media, the statement hardly felt hyperbolic: This was a career-defining performance for Beyoncé, […]

Read More

Beyoncé Surprises With a Live Album to Go With Her Netflix Documentary

When it comes to Beyoncé releases, there is usually an element of surprise. The singer — who perfected the secret album drop in 2013, and has since toyed with the tactic for releases like “Lemonade” and “Everything Is Love,” with her husband Jay-Z — did it again in the early morning hours Wednesday, one-upping the […]

Read More

Beyoncé Surprises Again With Unannounced Live Coachella Album ‘Homecoming’

When it comes to Beyoncé releases, there is usually an element of surprise. The singer — who perfected the secret album drop in 2013, and has since toyed with the tactic for releases like “Lemonade” and “Everything Is Love,” with her husband Jay-Z — did it again in the early morning hours Wednesday, one-upping the […]

Read More

Faith Politics on the Rise as Indonesian Islam Takes a Hard-Line Path

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Joko Widodo, the Muslim president of Indonesia, is into heavy metal and saving Christians. Earlier in his political career, he helped shelter ethnic Chinese Christians during deadly rioting. And upon winning the presidency in 2014, Mr. Joko filled his cabinet with women and banned a radical Islamic group that calls for Islamic […]

Read More

Lens: 50 Years After Altamont: The End of the 1960s

A half-century ago, 1969 capped a radical, idealistic decade that saw the rise of the hippie generation and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Woodstock, perhaps the most famous concert ever, happened that summer, with free love and drugs serving as backdrops to sets […]

Read More

Streaming Movie Review: ‘Guava Island’ Review: Donald Glover’s Island Getaway Is a Casual Charmer

Even as details were finally released earlier this week about “Guava Island,” the secret project that Donald Glover debuted at Coachella in advance of its Amazon Prime premiere Saturday, there was some confusion as to what exactly it would be. It’s not a “visual album,” in the style of Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” or Janelle Monáe’s “Dirty […]

Read More

Donald Glover’s ‘Guava Island’ Debuts After Coachella Set as Childish Gambino

“Guava Island,” a new 55-minute film starring Donald Glover and Rihanna, was released as a limited-time free stream on Amazon overnight Saturday, during Glover’s headlining set as Childish Gambino at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The mysterious project, which has been teased for months, features Glover as Deni, a singer hoping to bring […]

Read More

The Playlist: BTS Expands Its Footprint, and 11 More New Songs

ImageThe K-pop group BTS has released its anxiously awaited new album, “Map of the Soul: Persona.”CreditNina Westervelt for The New York Times [embedded content] Long before the English-speaking pop mainstream took real notice, BTS were already global pop stars. The successes the K-pop outfit have had in this country happened largely without worrying about how […]

Read More

‘Guava Island’ First Look: Childish Gambino’s Mystery Project With Rihanna Is Unveiled

When Donald Glover and the director Hiro Murai collaborate on a new project, expectations are naturally sky high. After all, Murai has directed many of the key episodes of Glover’s Emmy-winning series, “Atlanta,” as well as the music video for “This Is America,” the Grammy-winning song Glover recorded as his musical alter ego, Childish Gambino. […]

Read More

Lil Nas X’s Smash Makes Country Wonder if Rap Is Friend or Foe. Again.

Over the last few weeks, “Old Town Road” — a strutting and lightheartedly comedic country-rap tune by the previously unknown 20-year-old rapper Lil Nas X — has lived an improbable number of lives. It began as a Hail Mary pass by a college dropout hoping music might save him from having to go back to […]

Read More

Critic’s Notebook: The Art of Rock: Four Museums Explore How We Connect to Music

A man’s voice recites lines from a poem as fantastical low-resolution images of cityscapes are projected on a screen in a darkened room. “When I couldn’t sleep/I learned to write,” we hear him say. “I learned to write/what might be read/on nights like this/by one like me.” The lines come from Leonard Cohen’s “The Only […]

Read More

Critic’s Pick: Bruce Hornsby’s New Album Is Complex and Untrendy. That’s Why It’s So Good.

One way for a songwriter to invigorate a long career is to keep breaking routines, to change up methods and parameters and solve different puzzles with every album. It’s a modus operandi that has carried Bruce Hornsby from radio hits in the 1980s through bluegrass, jazz, a stint in the Grateful Dead and, lately, collaborations […]

Read More

Tayla Parx Helped Ariana Grande Evolve. Now It’s Her Turn.

For 15 weeks since the fall, the top spot on the Billboard singles chart has been occupied by one of two Ariana Grande mega-smashes — “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings” — that drip with the mettle and coquettish swagger of a pop diva, while borrowing from hip-hop beats and cadences. That winsome formula, though […]

Read More