Ken Tucker

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This is FRESH AIR. Our rock critic Ken Tucker has a review of a new album by Titus Andronicus, a band that formed in New Jersey more than a decade ago. The album is called "An Obelisk." One of their previous albums was a collection based on the history of the Civil War. Last year's album, "A Productive Cough," was built around a series of ballads. Ken says the new album has a louder, more aggressive style.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST LIKE RINGING A BELL")

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This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE MEKONS SONG, "ANDROMEDA")

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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

Every December, our critics look back on the books, movies, music and TV they loved — and this year, we've gathered all of those Fresh Air recommendations for you in one place.

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