Joe Henry's new album, Invisible Hour, comes out June 3.
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May 25, 2014 Henry's new album examines the complexities of commitment, coupling gloom with streaming daylight and gilding his saddest observations with joy and awe.
Meshell Ndegeocello's new album, Comet, Come to Me, comes out June 3.
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May 25, 2014 The iconoclastic singer's 11th album is the sort of rich work that keeps changing inside the listener's head — an often-quiet set of songs with intense staying power.
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires' new album, Dereconstructed, comes out May 27.
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May 18, 2014 On its second album, the band is intense enough to refresh the Southern-rock legacy it's joined. Throughout Dereconstructed, its members examine the fight to claim a home that can drive you crazy.
Tori Amos on stage in Glasgow, three days before the release of her 14th studio album, Unrepentant Geraldines.
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May 13, 2014 Tori Amos fans understand her music in elemental terms. To celebrate Unrepentant Geraldines, her excellent new album, we asked five of them to pinpoint the elements that make her so unmistakable.
May 13, 2014 50 years after she moved from Alabama to New York, Naomi Shelton is about to release her second album. On "Sinner," she infuses a gospel confessional with grit, soul and groove.
The album cover for Lily Allen's Sheezus goes after multiple targets, including Kanye West (in the album's title) and Queen Elizabeth II (the corgis).
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May 8, 2014 Iggy Azalea, Lily Allen and Sky Ferreira may not have much in common as musicians, but all three have recently drawn fire for appropriating masculine African-American imagery.
NPR Music's Ann Powers (right) interviews musicians (from left) Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff, Sharon Jones and Meshell Ndegeocello at the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle.
April 30, 2014 Sharon Jones, Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, Meshell Ndegeocello and Hurray For The Riff Raff's Alynda Lee Segarra shared struggles and successes in a joint interview at the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle.
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Wye Oak's new album, Shriek, comes out April 29.
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April 20, 2014 The band, known for its glorious guitar noise, opts for a synthesizer-driven sound.
Sturgill Simpson's second album, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, takes inspiration from both Ray Charles and research into near-death experiences.
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April 17, 2014 Listen closely to Sturgill Simpson's classic-sounding country music and you'll hear plenty of surprises, including twists on every element of modern country's church-trucks-and-beer trinity.
Kanye West performing in New York City, 2012
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April 15, 2014 Two writers dig to the bottom of why other people's bad taste in music bothers us so much, and along the way, lay out the new rules for thinking and writing about pop.
The Afghan Whigs' new album, Do to the Beast, comes out April 15.
April 6, 2014 The band's first album in 16 years still showcases the voice and vision of a solitary, brilliant man in a constant tug-of-war with evil, as he imagines it.
Ben Watt's new album, Hendra, comes out April 29.
Edward Bishop/Courtesy of the artist
April 6, 2014 With his first solo album in 31 years, the former member of Everything But The Girl has returned to highly cultured, intimate songcraft.
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These guys can get along. Why can't we? Kanye West (left) and Justin Vernon in 2010.
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April 4, 2014 Recently, some writers have argued that music criticism is unhealthily obsessed with pop. The problem with that argument: So are musicians in every other genre.
EMA's new album, The Future's Void, comes out April 8.
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March 30, 2014 The singer's new album navigates an imagined future world of sad clones and shattered identities. It creates a sonic alternate universe through which many elements float.
Nickel Creek's new album, A Dotted Line, comes out April 1.
Brantley Gutierrez/Courtesy of the artist
March 23, 2014 One-time bluegrass prodigies reunite with an album that plays to each musician's strengths. As always, Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins and Chris Thile balance their virtuosity with joyfulness and spunk.
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