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Charli XCX And The Year's Most Fabulous Pop Record

The 22-year-old U.K. star infuses her gleaming songs with punk spirit on her second album, SUCKER. The result is one of the best pop albums of 2014.

Ken Tucker's Top 9 Albums Of 2014, Plus A Book

Making new sounds while staying mindful of the past is a common theme in the Fresh Air music critic's year-end list.

2015 Rock Hall Of Fame Class Includes Lou Reed, Joan Jett, Green Day

The Smiths and N.W.A. were left off of the list of inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as Hall voters opted for acts such as Bill Withers and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Worth The Wait: The Transcendent Groove Of D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah'

There's usually reason to be apprehensive when an artist spends years in the workshop on a single set of songs. But nearly 15 years after Voodoo, the R&B singer still makes tricky music sound easy.

Charli XCX's Stockholm Scream Led To One Big 'Sucker'

Between the vocal hook in Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" and The Fault In Our Stars' soundtrack single, it's been Charli XCX's year. But it took some screams to create her sophomore album.

Jazz Saxophonist Jimmy Greene Plays Tribute To His Slain Daughter

Greene's album is dedicated to his 6-year-old daughter, Ana, killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. This story first aired on Nov. 28 on All Things Considered.

'Pippin' Performs The Final Ballad Of 'The Hobbit'

Billy Boyd was the hobbit Pippin in The Lord of the Rings films, and he's a musician, too. He talks to NPR's Rachel Martin about writing the last song for the new movie, The Battle of the Five Armies.

'Voices Within The Music': A Brief History Of Guitar Effects

Be it an effects pedal or a hole stabbed in an amp, distortion and sound manipulation have long been part of rock 'n' roll's DNA.

A Bicentennial For Boston's Handel And Haydn Society

The group gave the first U.S. performance of Handel's Messiah, and still plays it today. Yet the ensemble has constantly evolved.

Hunting Mice And Singing In Harmony

When record producer Ian Brennan met the Malawi Mouse Boys, they were selling mice as roadside snacks and singing together in church. Now, they've released two albums and toured the U.S.