Random Access Memories finds the French duo changing its music-making process in an effort to make its songs sound more human. To that end, Daft Punk enlists guest stars such as Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers.
On her new album, the pop star tries to show she's not just in the business for the money. As critic Ken tucker says, "Like pop stars ranging from Madonna to Chuck Berry, Ke$ha wants it both ways: mass-audience access and artistic acknowledgement."
The pop-dance-electronic group's founder tells Terry Gross why he stopped complaining about other bands and decided to start making his own music instead. LCD Soundsystem's latest album is called This Is Happening.
Music critic Ken Tucker reviews a refreshingly earnest and seductive new album from British dance act Hot Chip. In it, the group embraces its taste for techno, soul and gospel while also paying homage to the great American songwriters of the '60s and '70s.
Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reports on cellist Yo-Yo Ma's performance at Tanglewood last week. He played the world premiere of electronic music composer Tod Machover's "Begin Again Again," which was written for the cellist.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a recent album by singer Shelly Hirsch and keyboardist David Weinstein. Their music draws from a diverse array of styles and traditions. Kevin says Hirsch is one of the most amazing singers in any genre.
We debrief our rock historian Ed Ward about the music he heard during recent trips to Europe. He sat in on a recording session with an underground East Berlin band which is now making its first album, and he also brought back some Polish punk and dance music from Belgium.
Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a recording of the recent opera Valis, based on Philp K. Dick's novel of the same name. He says much of the music is haunting, but is often repetitive and sentimental. Yet it's still a beguiling piece of wizardry.
Rather than features songs from the 1970s in the recent Patty Hearst biopic, the filmmakers recruited composer Scott Johnson to write the soundtrack. His dense score combines synthesizers with heavy percussion, but retains the accessibility of pop music.
Jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album "Nine Below Zero," by the trio of pianist Wayne Horvitz, cornettist Butch Morris and drummer Bobby Previte. Kevin says the album is one of the more successful attempts to humanize the new electronic instruments like synthesizers, drum machines and rhythm boxes.