Ann Powers

Ann Powers appears in the following:

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.


On Lady Gaga's 'Joanne,' All Of Pop Is A Stage

Friday, October 21, 2016

Joanne is as theatrical as anything Gaga has ever done, touching on styles intimate and overcooked and upholding her romantic belief in broad gestures and bold declarations.


Songs We Love: Valerie June, 'Astral Plane'

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Originally written for Massive Attack, Valerie June gives an old song new life.


First Listen: Aaron Lee Tasjan, 'Silver Tears'

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Americana innovator invites listeners into a shiny dreamscape that's both deeply informed by musical history and uniquely his own.


10 Songs For An Anxious Moment: A Fall Pop Playlist

Thursday, October 13, 2016

As summer turns to fall, the boldfaced names returning to the world of pop might not be offering explicitly political songs, but each makes a big statement in its own way.


First Listen: Muddy Magnolias, 'Broken People'

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Call Muddy Magnolias rock, soul or even country: The huge, soulful, uplifting voices of Jessy Wilson and Kallie North will fill whatever space opens up to them.


The Limits Of Loving The Boss

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

For better or worse, there might not be anyone in the history of rock and roll as beloved by his fans as Bruce Springsteen is in 2016.


First Listen: Amanda Shires, 'My Piece Of Land'

Thursday, September 08, 2016

The singer and fiddler has mastered craft and structure in order to communicate the nuances of a richly responsive internal life.


Soul Band St. Paul And The Broken Bones Returns With 'Sea Of Noise'

Monday, September 05, 2016

NPR Music critic Ann Powers talks about her new favorite band at the moment, St. Paul and The Broken Bones. The eight-piece soul band is from Alabama and just released its second album, Sea Of Noise.


First Listen: St. Paul & The Broken Bones, 'Sea Of Noise'

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Sea Of Noise lifts this Alabama eight-piece from its spot as the nation's best young party band into headier and more exciting territory, where insights matter more than mere imitation.


Songs We Love: Martha Wainwright, 'Around The Bend'

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"I'm trying to not be so revealing," Wainwright says of the song, an air that evokes both Kate Bush and lounge singers. "I've written a lot of songs that were so personal they got me into trouble."


Hear Dwight Yoakam Take A Bluegrass Turn With 'These Arms'

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Yoakam's new project shows this king of modern classic country making a spiritual return to his Eastern Kentucky birthplace for as he rethinks songs from throughout his career within a bluegrass mode.


Lady Sings The Bros

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

EDM stars The Chainsmokers own the No. 1 and No. 8 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 right now, thanks in large part to the women singing their songs.


Detangling Frank Ocean's 'Blonde': What It Is And Isn't

Monday, August 22, 2016

We got two writers, Ann Powers and Jason King, going back and forth on what they've found in the reclusive singer's third album.


Songs We Love: Maren Morris, 'Once'

Monday, August 22, 2016

The country singer claims her space among the divas with a tearjerking ballad, recorded live with her band at Nashville's historic RCA Studio A.


A Critical Conversation About Frank Ocean's 'Endless' Video Album

Friday, August 19, 2016

As listeners everywhere process it in real time, two NPR Music critics trade notes on Ocean's confounding new release.


Dixie Chicks Host A Joyously Defiant Girls' Night Out In Nashville

Thursday, August 18, 2016

On Wednesday night, during their first headlining tour in a decade, the Chicks showed off the many ways they've always been more than the usual Music City act.