Ken Tucker appears in the following:
Everything but the Girl's Tracey Thorn writes lyrics that capture women's inner lives
Friday, May 12, 2023
The married British duo Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt — aka Everything but the Girl — have their first album in 24 years. Ken Tucker reviews Fuse, then we listen back to a 2018 interview with Thorn.
Al Green's landmark R&B album 'Call Me' turns 50
Friday, April 28, 2023
Green is widely considered one of the greatest pop singers ever. In 1973, he constructed this superb nine-song album for Hi Records in Memphis, in close collaboration with co-producer Willie Mitchell.
Lana Del Rey's ambitious new album is her riskiest to date
Tuesday, April 04, 2023
Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. is filled with dense compositions about family lore and romantic entanglements.
Songs by Iris DeMent, Sunny War and Margo Price speak urgently to the current moment
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Whether it's the folk-protest music of DeMent, the cutting-edge blues of War or the hard-charging Americana of Price, these three artists create music that stands out.
Caroline Polachek's new album pulses with the sound of exhilaration and relief
Monday, March 13, 2023
Desire, I Want to Turn Into You was recorded during a time when many were emerging from pandemic isolation, and, intentionally or not, it taps into the upheaval and disorientation we've lived through.
Bob Dylan's 'Time Out Of Mind' remains eerie and vital in a newly released version
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Columbia Records' new release provides an extensive look at Dylan's 1997's Grammy-winning album. This package of five CDs offer a wealth of new ways to experience some of Dylan's most moving music.
Dazy's exhilarating 'OUTOFBODY' sustains its quality all the way through
Monday, January 23, 2023
Virginia-based musician James Goodson — aka Dazy — sings most often in a voice that's high and urgent. His version of power pop is noisy, ragged, full of feedback and clatter — and irresistible.
SZA sends out a powerful 'SOS,' mixing pop, hip-hop and R&B
Monday, January 09, 2023
SZA sings and raps fluidly on her latest album, which features frequent medium tempos and romantic imagery that harken back to Luther Vandross, Minnie Riperton and the "Quiet Storm" era of 1980s R&B.
Beyoncé and Wet Leg top Ken Tucker's round-up of 2022's best music
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Beyoncé's album Renaissance celebrates disco rhythms and club culture, while the self-titled album by the Isle of Wight duo Wet Leg features intense, punk-influenced pop.
These three new songs will help you grapple with romances of the past
Thursday, December 01, 2022
After a decade, Caitlin Rose is "Getting It Right." Weyes Blood's "It's Not Just Me, It's Everybody" is an ethereal ballad. And Carly Rae Jepsen and Rufus Wainwright duet in "The Loneliest Time."
How country music allowed Jerry Lee Lewis to vary his wild-man persona
Tuesday, November 08, 2022
Lewis came up in rock, but proved his country chops on the 1968 album Another Place, Another Time. The music suited his piano style, and the lyrics fit the emotions he brought to every performance.
Taylor Swift's 'Midnights' mixes late-night dreaminess with steely control
Thursday, October 27, 2022
Swift's new album, which chronicles 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout her life, includes a bracing amount of clear-headed thoughts about love and life as a pop star.
Singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde gives voice to an imaginary town on 'Lindeville'
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
McBryde mixes passionate music with novelistic details on a concept album about the inhabitants of a small rural town, named after the songwriter Dennis Linde.
'Words & Music' offers 15 demos Lou Reed recorded as a fledgling artist
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Reed died in 2013. A new collection, recorded in 1965, captures the earliest-known versions of some of the Velvet Underground's best known songs, including "Heroin" and "Pale Blue Eyes."
This reissue proves Roger Miller was more than just a novelty act
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Best known for novelty songs like "King of the Road," Miller was also a serious songwriter who wrote ballads for artists such as Ray Price. Miller's '70 album A Trip in the Country is newly available.
Loudon Wainwright III goes back to the basics on 'Lifetime Achievement'
Friday, August 19, 2022
The singer-songwriter is known for his intensely autobiographical writing. When Wainwright turned 75 recently, he decided to make an album about trying — and mostly failing — to age gracefully.
'Renaissance' places Beyoncé at the very center of pop music right now
Friday, August 05, 2022
The escapist aesthetic of Renaissance is its own kind of statement — Beyoncé's way of asserting the primacy of Black musical forms throughout American pop history.
Singer/songwriter beabadoobee expands her sound dramatically on 'Beatopia'
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Born in the Philippines and raised in London, Beatrice Kristi Laus takes her stage name from a former Instagram handle. The music on beabadoobee's new album is a blend of timelessness and immediacy.
Charming and catchy, Bartees Strange cuts across boundaries on 'Farm to Table'
Wednesday, July 06, 2022
As a Black artist in the indie-rock space, Strange makes distinctively original music. Where his debut album showcased a highly eclectic performer, his sophomore effort is even more impressive.
3 songs prove just how elastic the definition of country music has become
Monday, June 20, 2022
The range of country music is on display in Kane Brown's hit single; a duet by Wynonna Judd and the alt-rocker Waxahatchee; and the title song of Big Time, indie singer-songwriter Angel Olsen's album.