Ken Tucker

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From Courtney Barnett's brooding on Tell Me How You Really Feel to Cardi B's hip-hop styling on Invasion of Privacy, the range of female artists was remarkable in 2018.

Tracey Thorn's Record, in which she sings about the various roles women assume, tops my list of the year's best albums. Here's a list, in order, of all my favorites:

1. Tracey Thorn, Record

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Aretha Franklin is dead and we still, 50 years after she made her artistic and commercial breakthrough, can scarcely comprehend the still-shocking power of her singing.

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This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF SNAIL MAIL SONG, "FULL CONTROL")

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This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF ASHLEY MONROE SONG, "WILD LOVE")

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This is FRESH AIR. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a roundup of some current hip-hop hits he's enjoying. They're songs that range from upbeat dance music to a rap ballad with a moody sound.

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