Ken Tucker

Ken Tucker reviews rock, country, hip-hop and pop music for Fresh Air. He is a cultural critic who has been the editor-at-large at Entertainment Weekly, and a film critic for New York Magazine. His work has won two National Magazine Awards and two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards. He has written book reviews for The New York Times Book Review and other publications.

Tucker is the author of Scarface Nation: The Ultimate Gangster Movie and Kissing Bill O'Reilly, Roasting Miss Piggy: 100 Things to Love and Hate About Television.

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Music Reviews
11:02 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Carlene Carter Carries The Heavy Burden Of History Lightly

Carlene Carter.
Marina Chavez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 11:53 am

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Music Reviews
10:57 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Jon Langford Sings Our Impulse To Destroy

Jon Langford with Skull Orchard.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:54 pm

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Music Reviews
10:07 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Sara Evans: Country Power Ballads With A Punch

Sara Evans.
Robert Ascroft Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:35 pm

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Music Reviews
12:31 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Angel Olsen: A Voice Of Confounding Power

Angel Olsen.
Zia Anger Courtesy of the artist

Angel Olsen begins the song "Hi-Five" by paraphrasing Hank Williams, admitting she's so lonesome she could cry. She goes on to say she just wants someone who believes in love as urgently as she does. The twanging guitar throbbing beneath these sentiments suggests that it's going to be a long, lonely search. Over a matter of minutes, Olsen has created the landscape she'll inhabit for an entire album.

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Music Reviews
1:38 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Pharrell Williams: Just Exhilaratingly Happy

Pharrell, sporting more conventional headwear.
Mimi Vald├ęs Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 3:03 pm

Pharrell Williams, who frequently goes by just his first name, is the sort of pop star whom many people would like to view as a friend. Emerging from hip-hop, he makes charming recordings that suggest a deep appreciation of pop, soul and R&B music extending at least as far back as the 1960s. To hear Pharrell on his new album G I R L, you'd think his world consisted of grooving on catchy beats and flirting with women. It's a lightweight image that draws gravitas from his prolific work ethic and a shrewd deployment of those influences.

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