Ken Tucker

Ken Tucker appears in the following:

Brittany Howard Draws Listeners In With 'Jaime', A Very Personal Solo Album

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

The new album by the Alabama Shakes lead singer mixes autobiography with an exploration of different musical styles. Listening to Jaime is like discovering Howard as an artist all over again.

Comment

Filmmaker Ken Burns Goes Wide, But Not Deep, In His Chronicle Of 'Country Music'

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Burns is known for finding fresh takes on big topics, but his new eight-part PBS series about country music treads a well-worn path, leaning heavily on the biggest stars and the most obvious ideas.

Comment

Lana Del Rey Crafts A Hypnotic California Sound On 'Norman F****** Rockwell!'

Friday, September 06, 2019

In the last decade, Del Rey released recordings that expanded our understanding of L.A. pop music. The singer/songwriter's new album is like a series of earthquakes, rendered with supreme confidence.

Comment

Chuck Cleaver Gets Wonderfully Expressive On His First Solo Album

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Cleaver, one of the leaders of Wussy, sings about joy, pain, sorrow and regret on Send Aid. The resulting album stands with the best of anything Cleaver has ever done.

Comment

Beyond 'Old Town Road': 3 Catchy Songs Tap Into 2019's Summer Spirit

Friday, August 23, 2019

Alessia Cara's "Rooting for You," Megan Thee Stallion's "Hot Girl Summer," and Bon Iver's "U (Man Like)" offer three different takes on — and moods for — the summer.

Comment

Titus Andronicus Explores Its Punk-Rock Side In 'An Obelisk'

Monday, July 29, 2019

Titus Andronicus, fronted by Patrick Stickles, favors a louder, more aggressive style in its new album. While the music sounds simple and raw, the ideas behind the songs are quite complex.

Comment

Buddy And Julie Miller Create Their Own Genre On 'Breakdown On 20th Ave. South'

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The married musicians offer their own synthesis of folk, country, rock and the blues on their new album. The music that results is unsettling, with a beauty that's both comforting and soothing.

Comment

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.

Comment

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.

Comment

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).

Comment

'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.

Comment

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.

Comment

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.

Comment

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.

Comment

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.

Comment

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.

Comment

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.

Comment

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.

Comment

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.

Comment

'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.

Comment