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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10:52am

Wed April 17, 2013
Music Reviews

Brad Paisley's 'Wheelhouse' Of Good Songs — And Intentions

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:15 pm

Brad Paisley's new album is titled Wheelhouse.
Courtesy of the artist

Brad Paisley's Wheelhouse is yet another very good album from a singer, songwriter and guitarist who's made a bunch of them in a row. It features a slew of shrewd songs about finding pleasure and comfort in a frequently unpleasant, uncomfortable world. The music includes a bone-cracking song about domestic violence written from a woman's point of view, one that praises Christian values from the perspective of a jealous skeptic, and one that samples the great Roger Miller as deftly as any hip-hop production.

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1:25pm

Tue April 2, 2013
Music Reviews

Kacey Musgraves: Country's Blunt And Poetic New Voice

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 1:46 pm

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Kacey Musgraves' "Merry Go 'Round" was one of NPR Music's favorite songs of 2012.
Kelly Christine Musgraves Courtesy of the artist

Kacey Musgraves is something of an anomaly. A Texas native in her mid-20s, she fits most easily into the contemporary "country" category, but the work she co-writes with a variety of collaborators is really a throwback to an earlier era of singer-songwriters — as much influenced by rock and folk as by country.

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12:17pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Music Reviews

Justin Timberlake Returns To Music With Enthusiasm And 'Experience'

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 9:03 am

The 20/20 Experience is Justin Timberlake's first album since 2006.
Tom Monro RCA

The orchestral swirls, the transition to a soul-man groove, the falsetto croon — there you have some of the key elements to Justin Timberlake's album The 20/20 Experience. The title implies a certain clarity of vision, even as any given song presents the singer as a starry-eyed romantic, bedazzled by a woman upon whom he cannot heap enough compliments, come-ons and seductive playfulness.

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11:52am

Mon March 11, 2013
Music Reviews

Tegan And Sara Reach Out To New Audiences With 'Heartthrob'

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 5:06 pm

Twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin have been writing songs since they were 15 and independently released their first full-length album in 1999. Since then, they've produced seven studio albums.
Courtesy of the artist

11:33am

Thu March 7, 2013
Music Reviews

David Bowie Awakens To 'The Next Day' Of His Career

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 2:30 pm

After a 10-year hiatus, David Bowie has just returned with The Next Day.
Courtesy of the artist

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