Bernard Zuel

Bernard Zuel

Since joining Fairfax in 1992, Bernard has been an editor and written on education, roads and local politics. These days, he specialises in music and is the senior music writer and reviewer.

Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour review: as sweet as it was calculated, Swift executes a near-perfect show

Bernard Zuel For 72,000 fans at ANZ Stadium, a polished Taylor Swift dished out an extended moment of ecstasy.

Picking the Swift posse

Who could, who should and who definitely mustn't get onstage with Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift likes girls with some serious profile but maybe not quite as much as hers.

Bernard Zuel When Taylor Swift takes to the stage she likes to do it in the company of her talented and famous friends.

Trying to stay relevant

Album reviews: Jamie Woon, Troye Sivan and CeeLo Green – after the zeitgeist

Bernard Zuel What happens when you take a break and find the world hasn't waited for you? Three artists with different approaches to timing find three different answers to the question of relevance.

This week's fresh sounds

Shortlist reviews: Jaala, Eden Mulholland, Bring Me the Horizon, Ought, Josh Ritter

Bernard Zuel We dive into new albums from Jaala, Eden Mulholland, Bring Me The Horizon, Ought and Josh Ritter.

Australian music's silver night

ARIA Awards turn psychedelic and laconic with Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett

Bernard Zuel Forget Taylor Swift, if you can, for Perth and Tasmania ruled the world this year. The music industry's awards night reflected the domination of two independent Australian artists.

A yule-time Kylie

Kylie Minogue brings Christmas to the ARIA Awards

Kylie Minogue gets lucky with her first Christmas album.

Bernard Zuel Raising Frank Sinatra from the dead and putting the disco into Christmas are all part of a regular day's work for Australia's biggest pop star at this time of year.

Pioneers finally return

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings to tour Australia after 11 years

Gillian Welch

Bernard Zuel Two of the most important names in the resurrection of that uniquely American mix of country, folk and blues, have not been sighted here in more than a decade.

Comments 1

Band, sweat and quiet tears

Ron Sexsmith review: a great songwriter we should be talking about

Ron Sexsmith

Bernard Zuel When the word genius is easily used for those we shout about, it's easy to forget the brilliance of the quiet ones.

Four new albums rated

Spectrum album reviews: Justin Bieber, Roots Manuva, El Vy and Jacob Bro

Prat with a tat: Justin Bieber.

Bernard Zuel, Matt Shea, Jake Cleland, John Shand Exploring pop, hip hop, rock and jazz.

Soothing the savage protest

Katy Perry, David Guetta, Dolly Parton used to calm APEC protesters in the Philippines

Who knew Katy Perry could quell a riot?

Bernard Zuel When the protests got ugly, the police turned up the music. Was love all around or could you predict a riot?

First chance to hear in Australia

Blackstar: see David Bowie's freaky new clip here

David Bowie unveils a new single ahead of a January release of his 25th album

Bernard Zuel Dark, mysterious, art rock and funky, and only available here for now.

New sounds from your neighbourhood

Shortlist reviews: King Gizzard, TQ, Mustered Courage, Robert Burke and Aine Tyrrell

Mustered Courage

Bernard Zuel We take new releases from King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, TQ, Mustered Courage, Robert Burke and Aine Tyrrell for a spin in our special all-Australian selection.

ARIAs 2015: Who should (and who will win) Australia's biggest music awards

Singer Kevin Parker of Tame Impala.

Bernard Zuel and Craig Mathieson From the international breakthrough of eight-time nominee Courtney Barnett to Tame Impala's warped psychedelia and Meg Mac's rise, it's been a great year for home-grown music.

The biggest album of the year

Adele's 25 review: a predictably perfect modern pop album - for better and worse


Bernard Zuel Going higher, louder and bigger than anyone else gives us more of everything. Just like Adele's favourite decade.

Comments 1

An unlikely star explored

Elliott Smith documentary Heaven Adores You reveals his mystery and magic

Elliott Smith.

Bernard Zuel A lyrical film about a singer who disappeared as mysteriously as he appeared, but left a body of work to be explored.

Classic pop/rock returns

Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra return with strings attached

'ello again from ELO: Jeff Lynne's pop-and-classical band return.

Bernard Zuel ELO, is it them you're looking for?

Hall of Fame

Tina Arena on the fight that never ends – for respect

Tina Arena. Supplied pic, 2015.

Bernard Zuel Tina Arena wilts under pressure from no one any more as she enters the ARIA hall of fame.

Hilarious, smart, loud and all things rock'n'roll in this two hour show.

Darkness review: A perfectly preposterous rock show, with more cowbell

The Darkness

Bernard Zuel Were those audience members dressed in wigs, tights and aged hair-metal T-shirts serious? Hark people.

Comments 2

Three new albums

Album reviews: Ellie Goulding, Gary Clark jnr and Soft Machine

Jenny Valentish, Bernard Zuel, John Shand There's more to pop than big hooks and more to Texas than the blues.

Five fresh albums

Shortlist album reviews: Philadelphia Grand Jury, Neon Indian, Dan Kelly, Algiers, De la Motte

The national psyche looms large in Dan Kelly's psychedelia.

Bernard Zuel We take new releases from Philadelphia Grand Jury, Neon Indian, Dan Kelly, Algiers and De la Motte for a spin.