Ken Tucker

Ken Tucker appears in the following:

Courtney Barnett's New Album Blends Forceful Guitar With Lyrical Complexity

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Barnett sings about fame, feminism and self-doubt on her new album, Tell Me How You Really Feel. Ken Tucker says the songs are like "inner monologues, shaped and sharpened for public consumption."


Rapper Cardi B Expands Her Musical Range On 'Invasion Of Privacy'

Friday, May 11, 2018

Though Cardi B's instinctive pose is that of a tough realist, her debut album allows for more vulnerable moments. Critic Ken Tucker calls Invasion of Privacy a "statement of principles."


Ashley Monroe Embraces Countrypolitan Classicism On 'Sparrow'

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Critic Ken Tucker says that Monroe's moody new album proves that the singer/songwriter is "working in a space that's almost entirely separate from anyone else in country music right now."


From BlocBoy JB And Drake To Post Malone, A Roundup Of Catchy Hip-Hop

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Rock critic Ken Tucker shares some hits he's listening to, including BlocBoy JB and Drake's upbeat "Look Alive" and the moody sound of Post Malone's "Walk It Talk It."


Singer-Songwriter John Prine Draws On His Roots With 'Tree Of Forgiveness'

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Prine keeps his earthiness alive on his first album of new songs in 13 years. Critic Ken Tucker says The Tree of Forgiveness features simple folk arrangements and a jaunty tone.


Tracey Thorn Mixes Dance Rhythms With Raw Honesty On 'Record'

Monday, March 26, 2018

Thorn's latest album uses airy synthesizers and insistent percussion as the backdrop for a series of meditations on being feminist. Critic Ken Tucker says Record plays as both a comfort and a dare.


Amy Rigby Maintains Her Punk Mischievousness On 'The Old Guys'

Friday, March 16, 2018

Rigby's new album, which features jangly guitars and thumping drums, sounds like an old-fashioned rock 'n' roll album. But critic Ken Tucker says that The Old Guy is definitely not "a nostalgia item."


Brandi Carlile Rejects Bitterness And Self Pity On 'By The Way, I Forgive You'

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Carlile fills her new album with songs about forgiving the pain inflicted by lovers, parents and others. Critic Ken Tucker says the singer's music and message carry a "mighty strength."


Kendrick Lamar Channels A Superhero's Conflicts And Strength On 'Black Panther'

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lamar plays a prominent role on the soundtrack for the new Marvel film. Critic Ken Tucker says the songs on Black Panther are shrewd, passionate and "almost ridiculously entertaining."


In 'POST-', Avowed Pessimist Jeff Rosenstock Surrenders To Creative Optimism

Friday, February 09, 2018

Critic Ken Tucker says he former ska/punk musician's new record is filled with "angry confusion," but Rosenstock also reveals himself as a singer-songwriter with a gift for delicate melodies.


Charli XCX's 'Pop 2' Emphasizes Collaboration And Emotion

Monday, January 22, 2018

The new album by British songwriter and performer Charli XCX features collaborations with Carly Rae Jepsen, Tove Lo and others. Rock critic Ken Tucker says Pop 2 is highly enjoyable.


'Louisiana Hayride Tonight' Revisits A Small-Time Show That Hosted Big-Name Stars

Thursday, January 04, 2018

A new 20-disc box set contains over 500 performances from the Shreveport, La., program that served as a talent showcase for country acts in the 1950s — including Hank Williams and Elvis Presley.


Singer-Songwriter Curtis Harding Drops His Guard On 'Face Your Fear'

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Atlanta-based musician blends contrasting pop genres on his second album. Rock critic Ken Tucker says Face Your Fear reveals Harding's deep knowledge of R&B.


Ken Tucker Looks Back On 2017 In Music

Monday, December 18, 2017

Fresh Air's music critic presents his annual list of favorite music — along with some thoughts about the rock, pop and country stars who died in 2017.


Taylor Swift Pushes Further Into Electro-Pop With 'Reputation'

Monday, November 13, 2017

Swift brings together pulsing drumbeats, surging keyboards and multi-tracked vocals on her new album. The result is a record that mixes passion and emotion with careful control.


Bob Dylan Redeems A Frequently Scorned Period Of His Career On 'Trouble No More'

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

A new nine-disc set chronicles the music Dylan made between 1979 and 1981 during his so-called "born again" period, which saw him turn to evangelical Christianity as a theme.


Nora Jane Struthers Is Hard-Headed About Being Open-Hearted On 'Champion'

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Nashville-based singer-songwriter has a new album that explores the joys of long-term commitment. Rock critic Ken Tucker says the collection is her most personal and accessible to date.


Singer/Songwriter Jhené Aiko Displays Her Ambition And Range On 'Trip'

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Aiko created some of the music on Trip as a response to losing her brother to cancer. Critic Ken Tucker says the album features sorrow and grief — as well as an attempt to escape from sadness.


Deer Tick Demonstrates Its Ambition And Range On 2 New Albums

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Rhode Island quartet is back with two new albums, titled Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2. Critic Ken Tucker says first is largely acoustic, while the second features a louder electric sound.


Matthew Sweet's Melodic Hooks Tug At The Heart On 'Tomorrow Forever'

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sweet recalls the time just before rock 'n' roll became self-consciously "rock" on his first album of new songs in six years. Critic Ken Tucker calls the music on Tomorrow Forever "wholly unironic."