Ann Powers

Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.

One of the nation's most notable music critics, Powers has been writing for The Record, NPR's blog about finding, making, buying, sharing and talking about music, since April 2011.

Powers served as chief pop music critic at the Los Angeles Times from 2006 until she joined NPR. Prior to the Los Angeles Times, she was senior critic at Blender and senior curator at Experience Music Project. From 1997 to 2001 Powers was a pop critic at The New York Times and before that worked as a senior editor at the Village Voice. Powers began her career working as an editor and columnist at San Francisco Weekly.

Her writing extends beyond blogs, magazines and newspapers. Powers co-wrote Tori Amos: Piece By Piece, with Amos, which was published in 2005. In 1999, Power's book Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America was published. She was the editor, with Evelyn McDonnell, of the 1995 book Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Rap, and Pop and the editor of Best Music Writing 2010.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University, Powers went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of California.



Fri January 13, 2012
The Record

Are 140-Character Reviews The Future Of Music Criticism?

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:28 pm

Spin Reviews' Twitter feed on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

This week, alternative rock's bible, SPIN magazine, announced that it would eliminate the standard short album review from the magazine (and web site) in order to "reinvent the album review." 21 staffers and freelancers will assess 1,500 albums over the course of the year via single 140-character posts on Twitter.

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Fri November 11, 2011
The Record

'Stairway To Heaven' Turns 40: Celebrate With 7 Covers

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:25 pm

Heart's Nancy Wilson onstage in 1983, looking very Jimmy Page.
Paul Natkin WireImage


Fri October 14, 2011
The Record

How To Keep It Real When Making New Soul: Three Attempts

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:23 pm

The Alabama Shakes are one of a small batch of young artists taking a claim within one of pop's primary realms: retro-soul.

Courtesy of the artist.

I'm always bemused when people adopt a melancholy attitude about the twilight of "physical" music. I love record stores, because they bring people together to share discoveries, provide employment for music experts and serve as a great place for misfit arty kids (and grownups!) to hang out.

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