Jon Pareles is the chief critic of popular music for The New York Times. His most recent book is Keeping Time: The Photographs of Don Hunstein.
 (December 2016)


Swept Away by Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen performing at the Bottom Line, New York City, August 1975

Born to Run

by Bruce Springsteen
Anyone who has been to a Bruce Springsteen concert will immediately recognize the tone he brings to his autobiography, Born to Run. It’s the voice of his onstage storytelling: hearty, comic, forthright, earthy, sometimes poetic, and grounded in the everyday yet somehow larger than life. Springsteen’s prose revels in “the …

Make Me a Song

Taylor Swift at the Teen Choice Awards, August 2014

The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory

by John Seabrook
A pleasure, an annoyance, a digital marvel, a mass-market commodity, a cultural touchstone, a gimmicky cheap shot—a twenty-first-century pop hit can be all of those, often at the same time. Even for those who try to tune them out, the songs insinuate themselves. They pour out of radios, pulse loudly …