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 .

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...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a review of the new album from The Earls of Leicester, a bluegrass band formed by some of the biggest names in that genre, including dobro player and producer Jerry Douglas and singer Shawn Camp. The band's debut album won a Grammy last year. The new album is called "Rattle And Roar." (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST AIN'T") THE EARLS OF LEICESTER: (Singing) I ain't going to...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. We're living in a pretty politicized time, and our rock critic, Ken Tucker, has been listening to two examples of political music, the first by the veteran British punk band The Mekons. It was recorded in the wake of the Brexit vote. The second, by the American country rock band The Mavericks, comes in the wake of the Republican and Democratic conventions. Here's Ken's review. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, ...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

This review has been revised from its original version. An excerpt of the Car Seat Headrest song "Just What I Needed/Not Just What I Needed" used an unlicensed sample of The Cars' "Just What I Needed." That excerpt has been removed from the review at the request of Matador Records. Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I’m David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. At the age of 83, Loretta Lynn is still making vibrant music. The country music icon has just released “Full Circle,” her first album of new music in more than a decade. Earlier this year, she was the subject of a PBS “American Masters” tribute called “Still A Mountain Girl,” which is available...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. In a relatively short time, the band Lucius has attracted a wide, diverse following that includes the Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who's blogged about the group. Lucius is a five-piece Brooklyn-based band whose signature sound is the voices of its two female lead singers. Our rock critic Ken Tucker has a review of the new Lucius album "Good Grief." ...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The Waco Brothers have been around for 20 years now. They're a mostly Chicago-based five-piece band whose most prominent member is the British ex-patriot Jon Langford. The Waco Brothers just released their first album of original material in a decade. It's called "Going Down In History." Our rock critic Ken Tucker has a review. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DIYBYOB") THE WACO BROTHERS: (Singing)...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Bonnie Raitt made an intention-getting appearance at the Grammys during a salute to B.B. King that won her wide acclaim. Raitt has a new album, her first since 2012. It's called "Dig In Deep," and finds the singer and guitarist exploring her roots in the blues, as well as rock and pop. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a review. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I KNEW") BONNIE RAITT: (Singing) Time, time...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a review of the debut album by a new act consisting of two familiar voices, Paul Westerberg of The Replacements and the singer-songwriter Juliana Hatfield. They call themselves The I Don't Cares. Ken says their new album, "Wild Stab," is both unruly and disciplined. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BORN FOR ME") THE I DON'T CARES: (Singing) When the loneliest eyes and the...

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