Streams

Ann Powers

Ann Powers appears in the following:

Taylor Swift Aims For Pop's Throne

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Erstwhile country singer Taylor Swift has a new sound and a new goal: to be the world's biggest pop star, with all the attention and provocation that comes with the job.

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A Tale Of Two Polls

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Two surveys claim to capture the public's view of the Common Core State Standards. But they tell very different stories.

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Top 40 In A Summer Of Discontent

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It's striking how little current pop hits reflect the angst and anger that have dominated this summer's news. But critic Ann Powers finds that one of 2014's biggest songs offers unexpected guidance.

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Top Stories: Some Protests Turn Violent In Ferguson

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Also: A California fire prompts officials to call for thousands of evacuations; Iceland may get a volcanic eruption; and wreckage near Java is identified as a U.S. Navy ship that sank in World War 2.

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First Listen: Shovels & Rope, 'Swimmin' Time'

Sunday, August 17, 2014

It's easy to feel the romance in the musical relationship between Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, who've become musical embodiments of how loving couples make it work.

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First Listen: Imogen Heap, 'Sparks'

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sparks documents a fruitful time for one of popular music's most curious explorers. But it also captures how, in the 21st century, art, technology and life meld to make whole new narratives.

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First Listen: Sinead O'Connor, 'I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss'

Sunday, August 03, 2014

On her 10th album, O'Connor returns to familiar ground, yet still widens the scope of rock with frank, urgent, compelling songwriting that proves how complicated the idea of the personal can be.

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East Nashville Rocks

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Four stories of rock and roll musicians making a home — and a scene — in a buzzing neighborhood just across the Cumberland River from the palaces of country music.

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First Watch: Maddie & Tae, 'Girl In A Country Song'

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The video for the teenage duo Maddie & Tae's first single, "Girl In A Country Song," cheerfully turns the tables on the cartoonish macho tendencies of so much recent country music.

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First Listen: Jenny Lewis, 'The Voyager'

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Voyager's clever (but never too-clever) sound builds an open structure within which Lewis can explore her current fascination: the weight of full adulthood, and its paradoxical precariousness.

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First Listen: Morrissey, 'World Peace Is None Of Your Business'

Sunday, July 06, 2014

"The rhythm of life goes round," the singer repeats, summing up a set ranging from politics to gang violence to gender identity. He's in fine voice, belting and going gentle without strain.

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The Hits Of Yesterday And Today

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Many of today's biggest radio hits came out months — even years — ago. That extended lifespan can change your relationship with a song, but it's not always a matter of overexposure.

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He'll Be There For You

Thursday, June 26, 2014

On his new album, X, rising singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran turns the at times troubling idea of the "friend zone" into something safe and sustaining.

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First Listen: Jim Lauderdale, 'I'm A Song'

Sunday, June 22, 2014

On his new country album, the roots-music veteran still touches nerves, carefully but firmly. Lauderdale continually shows that the trappings surrounding a song are only as meaningful as its core.

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A Gentle Buzz At The CMA Music Festival

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Five days of organized excitement in Nashville have their origins in a fan event, which makes for a more welcoming atmosphere than most American festivals — and no hierarchy of cool.

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First Listen: Willie Nelson, 'Band Of Brothers'

Friday, June 06, 2014

On Nelson's first album of mostly original material in 18 years, he paints a self-portrait of a long, up-and-down life — specifically the life of an artist.

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Miranda Lambert's 'Priscilla,' An Ode To 'Being Queen Of A King'

Monday, June 02, 2014

The chart-topping singer talks about fame, what country means to her and being "married to a man who's married to attention," in the words of "Priscilla," a song from her new album.

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First Listen: Jose James, 'While You Were Sleeping'

Sunday, June 01, 2014

The soul singer keeps reinventing others' songs and himself. James' new album is more direct than his earlier material in some ways, and more experimental in others, but grounded in a soulful groove.

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First Listen: Meshell Ndegeocello, 'Comet, Come To Me'

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The iconoclastic singer's 11th album is the sort of rich work that keeps changing inside the listener's head — an often-quiet set of songs with intense staying power.

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First Listen: Joe Henry, 'Invisible Hour'

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Henry's new album examines the complexities of commitment, coupling gloom with streaming daylight and gilding his saddest observations with joy and awe.

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