A music review

A music review

Learn how to write an album review.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.


Reading text

Want a job as a music journalist? Here's your chance. We're looking for a new lead reviewer for Hot! Magazine but we're not interviewing for the job. Instead, write a review of your favourite album ever. We want to know why you love it and why you think everyone should listen to it. Convince us and you've got the job!

I'm certainly not alone with my choice of favourite album. In fact, Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA has sold 30 million copies worldwide since its release in 1984. Nearly 30 years later, in 2013, Springsteen performed the complete album in concert to the delight of some of his many die-hard fans.

A fast-paced, foot-tapping rock album, Born in the USA's lyrics nevertheless carry emotional weight. Behind the catchy rock melodies that drive these powerhouse classics are stories of the dark side of the American dream. Many tracks deal with the struggles of hard-working ordinary people and the bitterness and anger they feel as life doesn't bring them riches or glory. The song Glory Days, for example, is about people in a small town looking back at when they were young and had the world at their feet while Downbound Train tells the story of a young man whose life is ruined when he loses his job. It's not hard to imagine that the artist is channelling real people he knew and the life he might have had if he hadn't become a star. The album will leave you in no doubt of the unique and extraordinary talent of the Boss.

Unlike many other best-selling album artists, Springsteen is still releasing chart-topping, stadium-filling new music and remains at the top of his game in his late 60s. It doesn't surprise me at all. This is a man who tells us our most fundamental stories about ourselves and, when you listen to Born in the USA, those stories are as relevant today as they ever were.


  1. The first paragraph should be a general introduction to what you're reviewing. Include the title, artist, and an interesting fact about its success or how it was made.
  2. The main body of the review needs detailed observations. Use specific vocabulary (e.g. lyrics, fast-paced, catchy melodies) to comment on particular songs and parts of the music.
  3. It is also important to give context. Link the music to the artist's life, or what inspired them, and the political or social context of the album.
  4. Try to make the review interesting and relevant to the reader. You can relate the artist's work to real-life experience (yours or that of people in general).
  5. Use compound adjectives (e.g. fast-paced, foot-tapping, best-selling) to make your writing highly descriptive.
  6. Finish off with a summary of why this album/concert, etc. is important.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3


Worksheet78.51 KB

Language level

Average: 4.4 (33 votes)
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Submitted by sengaung on Fri, 29/10/2021 - 14:27


I am not very clear about this sentence grammar

"The guitar I might have had I I hadn't a singer"

Hello sengaung,

The sentence is not grammatical. I'm not sure what you're trying to say so I can't make a suggestion as to how you might change it.

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by BMelissa on Thu, 07/10/2021 - 05:28


I don't seem to find just one favourite album. My love for music has made me enjoy different types of genres making it difficult for me to compare one "Young The Giant" rock album to a "Cultura Profetica" reggae album and come up with a choice from them both great pieces of artwork i adore and recommend, whether it is the "Mind Over Matter" or "La Dulzura" albums' , tottally opposite sounds. Either way I know that music has also gone through different stages in wich hits had become very poppular because of different quirks of a tune or music video but not really as a whole production where the audience could not only enjoy a catchy sound but also a great lyric composition and as a complement a great music video with an amazing dance choreography. Only very few artists had been able to accomplish that, like the one and only Michael Jackson. "Thriller" is for me as for so many others the all time favourite album with a tracklist of chart-topping hits. Though i was more used to modern sounds i couldn't overlook on the fact that Michael Jackson's music was made to endure, impacting in farther generations as it did in the 80's. Every song is so well ensambled in that album and his peculiar powerful voice makes a unique experience while listening to each song in it, not mentioning the dances in his music videos becoming trends that would never get old. It's a non explaining work of art that of course was on Jackson's hand to be portrayed as culture that unified all parties with one goal in specific that was to create joy around. Therefore i can conclude that though my mother was the die-hard fan of his, i was also able to appreciate his art and for that reason pick "Thriller" as my fav album of all time.

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 10/08/2021 - 05:29

I'm not a die-hard fan of a special type of a album or a singer. According to my mental condition, I listen different songs. but generally I love music and get better when I listen music.

Submitted by bolano on Sun, 28/02/2021 - 14:09

İ love music and I am keen of calm and catchy songs. Though Springsteen's Born in the USA Lyrics sorts out the ability of the singer to channel the feelings of many silent disappointed American citizens and maybe those living in the country, it is not my favorite. İ am not fan of rock. However, I have a favourite album which for me is the best of all the time. Richard Bona' second album; Reverence released in 2001 after his non less chart-topping and stadium-filling first album 'Scenes from my life' released in 1999. This Cameroonian artist achieves to associated his enchanting voice with African and western chores to produce amazing and exhilarating songs loved by any discerning ear regardless of your cultural origin. The singer through the passion he expresses in each song of this album could make us realize how far and perfectly he channels the beauty of his childhood he alleged to have spent near his grand-mother. İndeed it is incredible to realize how he masters his native language, the Duala, a native language spoken in the Littoral region of the country. The song Muntula Moto (The benediction of a long life) explains clearly the link the artist has keep with the African wisdom. The song in fact channels the traditional wisdom in African culture calling the young generations to learn near old ones and to respect old people by giving them all the attention and possible love to be granted blessings useful to the success in the live. İn a world like today chattered by all types of threats to culture and inter-generational dialogue, it sounds like a warn to take into account and build on for the betterment of our social environment. Richard Bona, a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and bassist extraordinaire virtuoso musicianship achieves to land all this know-how in Reverence. He is still producing incredible albums and has since become a clear icon of the African music and the jazz. Hang on Richard Bona, you look to have still a long journey to make the world enjoy the savvy of the African multi-cultural stand.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 15:30

I am not a die-hard fan of music or of any album. I know this is not my hobby to collect albums from singers. In past, I had listened to the band "Back Street boy" their songs, actually, it was been a time with my youth, and I loved to listen to their songs every day. I would like to say they were a hard-working band between 1999 and 2003. I still remembered, their album was sold fast-paced, and their album was chart-topping at those times. Unlike other bands, they had catchy songs which I loved to listen to their every day. Songs of their had an emotional weight, particularly if they sing about love, they would be channeled of their youth. It was glory time for them.

Submitted by Samwumi on Wed, 09/09/2020 - 02:49

To the IELTS Team. In the last paragraph, would it make the same meaning if "our most fundamental stories about ourselves" is changed to "the most fundamental stories about ourselves"?

Hello Samwumi,

Both our and the are possible. I think our emphasises the shared ownership of the stories - these are stories from our community about ourselves. In other words, they are stories we tell about ourselves, not stories other people tell about us.



The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Sat, 16/05/2020 - 16:58

My favourite album of all time is 'I Have a Dream' by Westlife.