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.


Music Reviews
12:26 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Lee Ann Womack Scales Back And Goes Traditional And Moody

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit


Read more
1:25 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Taylor Swift: The Peppiest Pop Star We Have Right Now

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 10:52 am

Taylor Swift's fifth album is called 1989, the year she was born. For the past few years, she's been the young queen of country music, by far its biggest-selling artist. But 1989 sidesteps country music entirely to become Swift's first pure pop album. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has a review.

Read more
2:00 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Ex Hex's 'Rips' Does What It Says On The Cover

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 2:12 pm

Punk rock lives on the debut album by a new trio, Ex Hex. The album is called Rips, and it's at once a throwback to bands like the Ramones and the sound of something new. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says the three women who make up Ex Hex have created an exhilaratingly energetic piece of work.

Read more
1:23 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Art In The Age Of Prince

If you've been wondering where Prince has gone, he's re-signed with Warner Brothers Records after spending the last few years of sporadic independent releases. Now Prince has released two new albums simultaneously: Art Official Age appears under his own name, and PlectrumElectrum is the debut record of a Prince back-up band called 3rdEyeGirl, but it includes Prince's vocals, guitar, and production style throughout. Fresh Air critic Ken Tucker has a review of both albums.

Read more
1:20 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Blake Mills' Restless 'Heigh Ho' Is A Roundabout Journey

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 10:01 am

Blake Mills has done a lot in his 28 years. As a guitarist, he has accompanied singers including Lucinda Williams, Neil Diamond, Kid Rock, and Lana Del Ray. He's produced songs for acts such as Fiona Apple and Alabama Shakes. His new album, his second, is called Heigh Ho, and Fresh Air critic Ken Tucker says it's notable for the diversity of its sound.

Read more