CD sales are declining and music is, increasingly, bought online. So why do bands still bother so much about album art? Gillian Orr discovers that some are making more interesting covers than ever
The curse of the Mercury Prize strikes again!
Arcade Fire took three years between albums – and they're not the worst culprits. Fans can forget you, warns Elisa Bray
A dash of wit, a slice of politics and a garnish of art-school style – the Pet Shop Boys' synth-pop formula just gets better and better
Simian Mobile Disco intended their new album to consist of plain techno. Then indie stars such as Beth Ditto, Gruff Rhys and Hot Chip got in touch, and they realised they'd better write some songs. They talk Chris Mugan through their chaotic creative process
PS3, Xbox 360, THQ, £44.99
So nu-rave was a bit of a non-event in the end, wasn't it? It's been a few months since the genre that spawned a thousand luminous T-shirts seemingly dissolved in a Hadouken!-shaped mess on the floor and, other than a pair of broken white Ray Bans, what have we to show for it?
Three men in black stand on a red-lit stage, each with a glowing white orb stuck to his chest. At first sight and sound, Metronomy may seem like just another post-Klaxons dance-pop group, but appearances are deceptive.
These old Taffs can't hide their true genius
Gordon Brown and Andy Burnham both claim to listen to them on their iPods, but the Arctic Monkeys received a slightly hipper seal of approval last night when they were called the "Oasis of their generation" by the New Musical Express.
The Sheffield indie rockers Arctic Monkeys look set to dominate this year's NME Awards after receiving a record seven nominations.