Ken Tucker

Ken Tucker appears in the following:

Country Music Gets A Hip-Hop Infusion With 'Old Town Road' And 'The Git Up'

Monday, July 01, 2019

Two current country hits by black musicians are challenging traditional notions of the genre. Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" and Blanco Brown's "The Git Up" pulse with history and humor.

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Willie Nelson's Voice And Spirit Remain Strong On 'Ride Me Back Home'

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The 86-year-old country star reflects on the passage of time on his new album. Ride Me Back Home is a lively, restless collection that contains solid new material and a keen sense of self-scholarship.

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Update: Ken Tucker Review Of Springsteen's 'Western Stars' Will Be Available Friday

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Update at 4:30 p.m. ET: Ken Tucker's review of Bruce Springsteen's new album has been temporarily removed because it was published prematurely. We expect to repost it on Friday (June 14).

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'Love Starvation/Trombone' And 'Transience' Speak To Past Sans Nostalgia

Monday, May 27, 2019

In their recent releases, Nick Lowe (along with Los Straitjackets) and Wreckless Eric have created new music that connects to old music without maudlin nostalgia or huffy defensiveness.

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Vampire Weekend's 'Father Of The Bride' Puts A Light Touch On Heavy Topics

Friday, May 17, 2019

The band's longest album to date is so polished you may not initially take in all the emotion roiling beneath its surface. Father of the Bride introduces new themes and a new ambition.

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Decades Later, Nat Turner Rebellion Makes Its Debut With 'Laugh To Keep From Crying'

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

The R&B group recorded in Philadelphia in the early '70s, but their debut is only just being released. The album is all over the map, but its passion and bristling intelligence is noteworthy.

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Lizzo Proves She's Ready For The Big Time With 'Cuz I Love You'

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Singer, rapper and dancer Lizzo has been playing the flute since she was in junior high. The diverse set of songs on her new album showcase an immensely ambitious — and talented — artist.

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The Mekons Celebrate Restlessness And Exploration On 'Deserted'

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Mekons are first-generation British punk rockers who've moved through an array of genres over the decades. Their most recent album was recorded in a studio just outside Joshua Tree National Park.

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Wily And Clever, Billie Eilish's Debut Album Sounds Like No One Else

Monday, April 08, 2019

The 17-year-old California singer-songwriter's album, When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? keeps listeners guessing. Her frame of reference is vast — ranging from glam rock to folk music.

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Robert Forster Gets Playful — And Intense — On 'Inferno'

Monday, March 25, 2019

The former co-leader of the Aussie band The Go-Betweens reflects on success and failure on his latest solo album. Critic Ken Tucker says Inferno is proof of Forster's credentials as a pop musician.

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Carsie Blanton Is Delightfully Surprising On 'Buck Up'

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Blanton makes folk-based music that prizes wordplay and has an antic sense of humor. Rock critic Ken Tucker says the personal is always political on her new album.

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Maren Morris Takes A Step Beyond Country With 'Girl'

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

The country star's latest album proves Morris isn't long for the country genre — she's a pop singer with an affinity for rhythm & blues, and she's not holding back.

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'Modern Sounds' Re-Release Revives Ray Charles' 1962 Venture Into Country

Monday, February 25, 2019

Fifty-seven years ago, Charles released two albums that helped extend the reach of country music. Though initially perceived as a novelty, a re-release of the albums proves they were anything but.

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New Albums By Steve Gunn And Michael Chapman Showcase The Guitar's Complexity

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Unseen In Between, by instrumentalist-turned-singer-songwriter Gunn, and True North, by veteran folk musician Chapman, both use the guitar to explore the mysteries of life.

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3 Hip-Hop Singles Represent A Diversity Of Sounds

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Critic Ken Tucker picks three new hip-hop singles he has on heavy rotation: 21 Savage's fatalistic "A Lot," Lizzo's cheerful "Juice" and Lil Peep's melancholy "I've Been Waiting."

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Sharon Van Etten Presents A Richer, Fuller Sound On 'Remind Me Tomorrow'

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Critic Ken Tucker says you don't have to know anything about Van Etten to find her new album striking and impressive: It's the sound of a woman redefining herself, on terms that are totally her own.

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Ken Tucker Picks His Favorite Albums Of 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The range of female artists was remarkable in 2018, extending from Courtney Barnett's brooding Tell Me How You Really Feel to Cardi B's hip-hop styling on Invasion of Privacy.

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'Fresh Air' Favorites: Our Critics Pick 2018's Best Books, Movies, Music And TV

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Find everything our critics loved this year, all in one place: Maureen Corrigan's book list, movie pairings from Justin Chang, music recommended by Ken Tucker and David Bianculli's must-see TV list.

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Christmas Albums By Rodney Crowell And The Monkees Capture The Spirit Of The Season

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

For both Crowell and the Monkees, Christmas is a time to draw up a gratitude list and put the year in perspective. The results aren't always jolly, but they're certainly sincere and passionate.

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Lefty Frizzell Box Set Showcases The Original Recordings Of A Country Classic

Monday, November 26, 2018

Though he's widely considered one of the best country-music artists of all time, Frizzell's music is not well known or widely heard today. Ken Tucker says An Article From Life aims to correct that.

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