Ann Powers

Ann Powers appears in the following:

First Listen: Rhiannon Giddens, 'Freedom Highway'

Thursday, February 16, 2017

In her new work, the Carolina Chocolate Drops vocalist speaks for the truly silenced: slaves; those murdered during the civil rights movement; young men felled by police bullets in city streets today.


The Problem With The Grammys Is Not A Problem We Can Fix

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Adele's attempt to share her album of the year Grammy with Beyoncé on Sunday was a gesture that held within it a history of privilege and power that listeners and institutions alike reckon with.


Dance Music Sex Romance: Prince Streams 4 U

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Now that his catalog has come to streaming services, we've created four playlists to highlight the fundamentals of the Prince ideology.


With The Wu-Force, Watch An Age-Old Story Unfold From A Phone Screen

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Wu-Force's Wu Fei, Abigail Washburn and Kai Welch borrow a motif from Pixies' "Where Is My Mind" to soundtrack an inventive video for "Paper Lanterns."


First Listen: Alison Krauss, 'Windy City'

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Krauss' first solo album since 1999 shows off her intelligence and good humor in versions of classic songs that are delightfully down to earth.


Should Anyone Expect Pop Stars To Lead The Resistance?

Monday, February 06, 2017

Lady Gaga's Super Bowl halftime performance was possibly progressive, definitely patriotic and ultimately open-ended. Gaga played to the masses, and left the messages mixed.


Songs We Love: Andrew Combs, 'Dirty Rain'

Thursday, February 02, 2017

On the lead single and video from Canyons Of My Mind, Combs connects the environmentalist folk-pop of Don McLean with the dystopian mood-setting of Radiohead.


Songs We Love: Charlie Worsham, 'The Beginning Of Things'

Monday, January 23, 2017

The first single from the country singer's new album is a condemnation of one man's irresponsible habits — yet one that still retains compassion for him and the women who survive in his wake.


A Beautiful Expression Of Belief By Jessi Colter

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Country music luminary Jessi Colter has only released one album since the 2002 passing of her husband, Waylon Jennings. Now she's back with a moving labor of love called The Psalms.


First Listen: Natalie Hemby, 'Puxico'

Thursday, January 05, 2017

The country songwriter's debut album is a labor of love — and a deeply insightful compendium of the stories we tell ourselves in order to preserve it.


Mourning Stars Through Streams, Screens And Communities

Thursday, December 29, 2016

In a year of stunning loss, music fans found new opportunities to create virtual communities, continuing conversations their departed icons started.


Remembering George Michael's Radical Impact On Pop Music

Monday, December 26, 2016

NPR music critic Ann Powers says George Michael was sometimes dismissed as a cotton-candy pop music songwriter but you might not know he had a radical impact on the genre.


Songs We Love: Ron Gallo, 'Please Yourself'

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Watch Gallo and his band, their instruments bolted to the bed of a Ford truck, commandeer an intersection and blast out a punk directive before the cops come.


Songs We Love: CeCe Winans, 'Hey Devil!'

Friday, December 09, 2016

It's high time for gospel's greats to reassert their power. Winans teams with the mighty Clark Sisters to carry the spirit of the Lord right back to Motown.


Ann Powers' Favorite 2016 Albums (Beyond The Obvious)

Thursday, December 08, 2016

This year, pop critic Ann Powers offers something a little different — 10 deserving albums that might have topped lists in any other year.


Lucinda Williams, Live In Concert

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Watch the legendary singer-songwriter perform a three-song set at Damrosch Park in New York City.


On 'The Weight Of These Wings,' Miranda Lambert Improvises A Life

Thursday, November 17, 2016

With a new double album, the country star stands at the center of her own story. Insistently personal and empathetic, it's her most cohesive release yet.


Love Itself: Leonard Cohen's Holy Touch

Friday, November 11, 2016

The revered songwriter, who died November 7 at the age of 82, compelled us to dwell on the relationship between the profane and the profound.


First Listen: Martha Wainwright, 'Goodnight City'

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Wainwright's singing shows a deep awareness of the multiple meanings that can merge and overflow — even within utterances as direct as a lover's whisper or a lullaby.


First Listen: Kristin Hersh, 'Wyatt At The Coyote Palace'

Thursday, October 27, 2016

In an album named for her teenage son, the singer-songwriter and punk mystic reflects upon some of her life's most perception-altering junctures.