Music Reviews Music reviews of new albums in pop, rock, folk, jazz, blues, classical, world, and hip-hop.

Music Reviews

Pianist Víkingur Ólafsson sets the music of Mozart amid his peers to offer a fresh take on the master composer. Ari Magg/Deutsche Grammophon hide caption

toggle caption
Ari Magg/Deutsche Grammophon

Víkingur Ólafsson Wants To Change Your Mind About Mozart

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1026695986/1034137523" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Kanye West is seen at a Donda listening event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 22, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Music hide caption

toggle caption
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Music

Composer Julius Eastman's music is slowly moving from neglected to championed. Donald Burkhardt hide caption

toggle caption
Donald Burkhardt

Julius Eastman, A Misunderstood Composer, Returns To The Light

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1007150496/1008857105" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Lil Nas X performs on the Season 46 finale of Saturday Night Live. Will Heath/NBC hide caption

toggle caption
Will Heath/NBC

Ranking 'SNL' Musical Guests From Megan Thee Stallion To Morgan Wallen

For the last four years over at NPR Music, Stephen Thompson has compiled a ranking of the best and worst musical guests from the latest season of Saturday Night Live. Season 46 just wrapped up with Lil Nas X, who joins the ranks of this season's best performances, which includes Megan Thee Stallion, Justin Bieber, Bruce Springsteen, Miley Cyrus and many others.

Ranking 'SNL' Musical Guests From Megan Thee Stallion To Morgan Wallen

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1000129867/1000167197" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Olivia Rodrigo's debut album Sour is a follow-up to her singles "drivers license" and "deja vu." Grant Spanier/Geffen Records hide caption

toggle caption
Grant Spanier/Geffen Records

Olivia Rodrigo's debut album, Sour, is out May 21, less than six months after she shattered streaming records with the breakthrough single "drivers license." Renee Klahr/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Renee Klahr/NPR

Daddy's Home (out May 14), Annie Clark's sixth album as St. Vincent, takes the sounds and sleaze of early-1970s New York as its aesthetic backdrop. Zackery Michael/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Zackery Michael/Courtesy of the artist

Hasaan Ibn Ali. Larry Fink/Courtesy of Omnivore Recordings hide caption

toggle caption
Larry Fink/Courtesy of Omnivore Recordings

The Lost Recordings Of Hasaan Ibn Ali Reveal A Legend Just Getting Started

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/990881665/990980280" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Icelandic musicians Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams) perform in the film Eurovision Song Contest. John Wilson/Netflix hide caption

toggle caption
John Wilson/Netflix

Massive Attack performs live on Sept. 20, 2019, at The Met in Philadelphia. Matthew Shaver/WXPN hide caption

toggle caption
Matthew Shaver/WXPN

The Culture Corner: 30 Years Since Massive Attack's 'Blue Lines'

XPN

Thirty years ago, U.K. band Massive Attack released its debut album, Blue Lines, and changed music forever. We go back to the early '90s in Bristol in this first installment of The Culture Corner.

World Cafe's Culture Corner: Massive Attack

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/988869449/989059480" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen's voice has been called one-in-a-million. James Hole /Decca Records hide caption

toggle caption
James Hole /Decca Records

From Norway With Horsepower: Soprano Lise Davidsen Is Conquering Opera

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/980863482/981309975" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Across Haram, an Islamic term meaning "forbidden," the rappers billy woods and ELUCID dissect all things taboo, and how, ultimately, those commodities are still ubiquitous across cultures. Alexander Richter/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Alexander Richter/Courtesy of the artist

Pharoah Sanders and Sam Shepherd (a.k.a. Floating Points) in the studio making Promises. Eric Welles-Nyström/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Eric Welles-Nyström/Courtesy of the artist

Even after brutal reviews for the short-lived Anyone Can Whistle, Stephen Sondheim continued to create provocative and form-shattering musicals. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

A Cult-Classic Sondheim Flop Gets An Essential New Recording

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/979959291/980075614" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Chick Corea, holding a freshly won Grammy in the award ceremony's press room in LA on Feb. 8, 2015. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A new Dusty Springfield anthology collects singles from her time with Atlantic Records. Courtesy of Real Gone Music hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Real Gone Music

On A New Anthology, Dusty Springfield's Take On Southern Soul Gets Another Look

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/958832714/959336046" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Dua Lipa performs onstage for the 2020 American Music Awards. Her album, Future Nostalgia, ranks second on Ken Tucker's list of his favorite albums of 2020. Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for dcp hide caption

toggle caption
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for dcp

A Year Like No Other: Ken Tucker Picks 10 Albums That Made An Art Of Escapism

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/944630256/946771720" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript