Album: Mariah Carey, Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel (Mercury)

Once upon a time, Mariah Carey's albums had infantile titles like Butterfly, Rainbow, Glitter and Charmbracelet – sickly-sweet enough to be some pre-teen cartoon superheroine line-up.

Album: Muse, The Resistance, (Helium/WEA)

A politicised Muse take the path of vague resistance

Muse, The Den, Teignmouth

Seaside Special was never like this: two Mr Punches leer over the stage from posters either side, a circus ringmaster opens proceedings, yet big-top glitter and knockabout humour are way off the agenda.

Let the shuffle gods decide: Will Oldham lets his iPod do the talking

We have a date with destiny but Will Oldham is walking out of his central London hotel just as I'm going in. "Gonna get a better cup of coffee than they serve here and I'll be right back," he says, strolling out on to Tottenham Court Road. Twenty-five minutes later, Oldham returns. He is not, it seems, a man to take his beverages lightly.

Taio Cruz, Academy 2, Sheffield

Hesitant and bashful, UK R'n'B's latest hope must be more confident in the studios of America's hottest producers than at this Yorkshire venue's learner stage. At least, Taio Cruz's CV emphasises his accomplishments behind the mixing desk more than in his slowly burgeoning solo career.

Album: Ashlee Simpson, Bittersweet World (Geffen)

Few acts epitomise the failings of corporate pop as completely as Ashlee Simpson, one of those insubstantial presences who seem to emanate from the industry like marsh-gas, shape-shifting to fit whatever trends briefly catch the public ear, then evaporating to leave only a lingering whiff of inauthenticity.

Sound of the urban underground

Urban artists are turning mainstream – but will popular success kill their credibility? Matilda Egere-Cooper reports

Album: Madonna, Hard Candy (Warner)

For the record, I'm neither ageist nor a prude. But when, four tracks into Madonna's 11th studio album 'Hard Candy', the 49-year-old Queen of Pop starts monotonously cooing "see my booty get down" while Pharrell Williams pants desperately over the top, my immediate reaction is sheer, hair-standing-on-end embarrassment.

Why the music industry must keep its eye on the prize

Majors and indie labels alike must ensure that talent rises to the top in the fractured world of music marketing

Duran Duran, The Lyceum, London<br/>Daggers, Purple Turtle, London

More than 25 years after they burst on to the scene, Duran Duran show that they haven't lost the art of making great pop songs

Bryan Robson: 'I find it frustrating I haven't had a chance at a top club'

The Old Trafford icon who could have been England manager tells Nick Townsend that harder times have not dimmed his desire

Album: Timbaland & Magoo

Under Construction Part II, Blackground / Unique

Shopping: I want...A funky pair of headphones - The route to a secret world of sound

Not everybody appreciates the importance of quality headphones. Some people hold "cans" in such contempt that they would never consider owning a set, were it not for the proliferation of the personal stereo, which, of course, comes equipped with "free" ones. These people are unlikely to have ever experienced the trainspottery buzz of putting on a new CD and being delighted by the discovery that a seemingly two-dimensional song played on a cheap stereo unfurls into virtual stage play when headphones are worn. Take the intro to Timbaland's new album, for instance, wherein you find yourself strolling alongside - and having the same blushing perspective as - vocalist TK Kirkland as he observes that the woman walking ahead of him has a great future behind her.
News
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
i100
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
News
people
News
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
news
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor