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.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a review of "Little World," the second album by the California-based singer Allyson Seconds. Ken says its pop songs recall an earlier era of California rock music. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUN DON'T SHINE") ALLYSON SECONDS: (Singing) I want to know why the sun don't shine and why the snow fall in summertime. Rational thought... KEN TUCKER, BYLINE: In Allyson Seconds'...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. There's a lot of music on Miranda Lambert's new album "The Weight Of These Wings," 24 songs over two CDs. Lambert has been working on the album for about a year and released it without much advance notice. It's giving listeners a lot to absorb. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a review. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU WOULDN'T KNOW ME") MIRANDA LAMBERT: (Singing) You wouldn't know me if you saw me here. Wake up...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Our rock critic, Ken Tucker, has a review of a new album by Scott and Charlene's Wedding, a music act that consists primarily of singer-songwriter producer Craig Dermody. He's a Melbourne, Australia, musician, who’s also a painter and has a new album called "Mid Thirties Single Scene." (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DISTRACTED") SCOTT AND CHARLENE'S WEDDING: (Singing) I'm stuck in my room. The television's on...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Leonard Cohen has just released an album of new songs called "You Want It Darker." Cohen, who is now 82, writes frequently about the fragility of life. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a review. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TRAVELING LIGHT") UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Vocalizing). LEONARD COHEN: (Singing) I'm traveling light. It's au revoir. My once so bright. My fallen star. I'm running late. They'll close the bar....

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Bob Weir is best known as a founding member of the Grateful Dead. In recent years, he's continued to tour, performing Grateful Dead material with a group called Dead & Company. Now Weir has released a solo album, his first album of entirely new material since 1978. It's called "Blue Mountain," and our rock critic, Ken Tucker, has a review. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ROSE") BOB WEIR: ...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . KEN TUCKER, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR. Lucy Dacus is a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Richmond, Va., whose debut album is called "No Burden." It's a collection that had a small independent release earlier this year, but now it's been reissued on Matador Records. Rock critic Ken Tucker says Dacus expresses a vulnerability that goes against the grain of much current pop music. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STRANGE TORPEDO") LUCY DACUS: ...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Over the course of her recording career beginning in 2010, Angel Olsen has written albums that sound like folk music or indie rock or what she's called my low-fi velvet underground sound. But rock critic Ken Tucker says Olsen's never made an album with such a diverse variety of styles as her new one titled "My Woman." Here's Ken's review. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GIVE IT UP") ANGEL OLSEN: (Singing) It...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Kelsey Waldon is a young country singer from the town of Monkeys Eyebrow, Ky. She's just released her second album titled "I've Got A Way." Rock critic Ken Tucker says Waldon's distinctive approach to a classic country sound is exciting. KELSEY WALDON: (Singing) Dirty, old town, dirty, old town, nowhere's I can go. I've been going too far, and I'm wishing on a star going places where the light can't...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: There's a new drama series on Netflix called "The Get Down" about hip-hop's early days, disco and cultural trends that emerged from New York City in the late '70s, such as graffiti art and the popularity of kung fu and exploitation films. Rock critic Ken Tucker has been listening to the show's soundtrack album and says it's as dense and complex as the TV show itself. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HUM ALONG AND DANCE") JANELLE...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Lydia Loveless is a 25-year-old singer-songwriter from Ohio, who began her career at age 14, performing in a band with her sisters and her father. Since launching a solo career, she's made four albums, the latest of which is called "Real." Rock critic Ken Tucker has this review. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "REAL") LYDIA LOVELESS: (Singing) When I'm watching on TV, and I know I shouldn't be because it doesn...

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