Mikael Wood

Writer

Mikael Wood writes about pop music in all its ever-quickening splendor. Prior to joining the Los Angeles Times in 2012, he was a freelance contributor to Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Spin and the Village Voice. He grew up in Little Rock, Ark., graduated from Northwestern University and knows every word to “Mo Money Mo Problems.” He was named pop music critic in 2016. 

Recent Articles

  • Giving thanks for the music that (almost) redeemed 2017

    Giving thanks for the music that (almost) redeemed 2017

    Given the nonstop turmoil of the past 11 months — from political upheaval to accusations of sexual harassment to gun violence to natural disasters — perhaps the thing to be grateful for as we celebrate Thanksgiving is that 2017 is almost over. Yet as tough as this year has been for so many, it...

  • Björk's 'Utopia' is a forbidding album about self-care

    Björk's 'Utopia' is a forbidding album about self-care

    For Björk, and for her listeners, Utopia is not easily reached. On her new album by that optimistic title, the adventurous Icelandic singer envisions a realm of romantic promise and civic cooperation — an untainted land with “bird species never seen or heard before” and with “the first flute carved...

  • How the American Music Awards tried to combat toxic masculinity

    How the American Music Awards tried to combat toxic masculinity

    At least this thing had its heart in the right place. In an age of widespread awards-show overload, nobody looks to the annual American Music Awards — broadcast live Sunday night on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles — for an authoritative diagnosis of what matters in pop music,...

  • LCD Soundsystem is a blast from the dance-band past at the Palladium

    LCD Soundsystem is a blast from the dance-band past at the Palladium

    Instead of horns, they had synths. And rather than swing, they grooved. But in terms of the service they were providing their audience, James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem weren’t so different Friday evening at the Hollywood Palladium from the old big bands that performed there in the 1940s. Kicking...

  • Sharon Jones is not to be messed with on her final album, 'Soul of a Woman'

    Sharon Jones is not to be messed with on her final album, 'Soul of a Woman'

    Sharon Jones struggled as a singer for too long to let anything interfere with her success when it finally arrived. That’s the impression you get from “Soul of a Woman,” the final album this tough, leather-lunged R&B belter made before she died in 2016 of pancreatic cancer. Due Friday, nearly a...

  • Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their quietly subversive new album

    Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their quietly subversive new album

    It didn’t come as a huge surprise when Tim McGraw broke from his regular set list on a recent evening at the Rabobank Arena here to sing a couple of old classics by Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. The two late legends put this dusty oil town on country music’s map, so pulling out “Act Naturally”...

  • Taylor Swift's privacy is a public act on 'Reputation'

    Taylor Swift's privacy is a public act on 'Reputation'

    For Taylor Swift, love — or the idea of it — has always represented a refuge, an escape, a shelter in a storm. When she emerged, just over a decade ago, romance was a means of lifting herself out of the too-smallness of high school; later, its enduring promise cushioned her after any number of...

  • How Morrissey made the most of Morrissey Day

    How Morrissey made the most of Morrissey Day

    “Top of the world, Ma!” That’s what Morrissey bellowed, paraphrasing James Cagney in “White Heat,” to open his sold-out concert Friday night at the Hollywood Bowl — and it was tempting to believe the famously grumpy British singer actually meant it. An hour or so before he turned up onstage, Morrissey...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
64°