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.

Pages

Music Reviews
12:24 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Leon Bridges Offers Retro R&B With A Twist In 'Coming Home'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Read more
Music Reviews
10:28 am
Thu June 11, 2015

Shamir Bailey Invites Everyone In, With Plenty Of Pop Star Potential

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more
Music Reviews
12:03 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Joanna Gruesome's 'Peanut Butter' Rises Above The Band's Gimmicky Name

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more
Music Reviews
11:06 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Country Hit Writer Chris Stapleton Breaks Out On His Own In 'Traveller'

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 12:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more
Music Reviews
12:41 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Nellie McKay Celebrates The '60s With 'My Weekly Reader'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Read more
Music
10:31 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Alabama Shakes Opens New Territory On 'Sound & Color'

Over the course of Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes messes with what had already, after its first album, become its signature sound. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has this review.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more
Music
12:14 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Dwight Yoakam's 'Second Hand Heart' Is First Class

Dwight Yoakam has been making music that mixes country with rock 'n' roll since the 1970s. Working out of Los Angeles rather than Nashville, he's built a career that has also included a solid acting career, appearing in movies like 1996's Sling Blade and the recent TV series Under the Dome. Yoakam's new album is called Second Hand Heart, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says it's one of Yoakam's most stylistically diverse.

Read more
Music
11:29 am
Tue April 14, 2015

The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle Finds Refuge In The Ring

The Mountain Goats have a new album called Beat The Champ. It's unusual in that it is a concept album about professional wrestling, based on the interest in that sport band leader John Darnielle has had since he was a boy. Darnielle is also a prose writer whose novel Wolf in White Van was nominated for a 2014 National Book Award. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has this review.

Read more
Music
12:27 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

There Is A Rich World In Kendrick Lamar's 'To Pimp A Butterfly'

Kendrick Lamar made a big impact for his storytelling skills on his 2012 major-label debut Good Kid, M.a.a.d City, and won two Grammys in February for the song "i." That song appears in Lamar's latest album, To Pimp A Butterfly, which Fresh Air music critic Ken Tucker says has an excitingly adventurous sound.

Read more
Music
12:31 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Courtney Barnett Makes Ennui Vivid On Debut Album

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:01 am

Courtney Barnett is an Australian singer-songwriter in her late 20s who's just released her first full album. It's called Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Barnett fills her songs with details about things she observes around her, everyday details that Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says she somehow manages to infuse with a freshness rare in any songwriter, let alone one this young.

Read more

Pages