Michael Roberts

Latest Stories

  • 6 years ago

    Although singer-songwriter Missy Higgins is a star in her native Australia, she's little known in the U.S. So prior to the stateside release of On a Clear Night, a CD that's already successful back home, she relocated to Los Angeles — and th...

  • 7 years ago

    Transitioning from overhyped buzz generator to perpetual powerhouse ain't easy, even for figures as charismatic as the Bloc Party men; the strain shows on the Brits' third LP. "Ares" is the sound of a band trying too hard, albeit with assists from...

  • 7 years ago

    Here's a dirty little critical secret: Many times when reviewers describe an album as being a veteran band's best since "fill in the blank," they remember zilch about the discs that appeared in between. That's certainly the case when it comes to O...

  • 7 years ago

    After 1997's Urban Hymns proved to be a breakthrough for the Verve, frontman Richard Ashcroft went solo prematurely — and was punished by having quite a bit of strong music go largely ignored. Now Ashcroft has the band back together, and on ...

  • 7 years ago

    Santa Barbara native Katy Perry is capable of remaking herself for any promising target demographic. In her teens, she delivered achingly sincere contemporary Christian fare that wasn't so achingly sincere after all — though she is the daugh...

  • 7 years ago

    "Lounge music" was once a pejorative term: It called to mind blowsy has-beens warbling off-key Peggy Lee covers while slumped against a baby grand at the airport Ramada. That changed last decade, when the increase-the-beats approach to dance music...