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11-12-2013, 22:43

Cat Power - Albums Collection 1995-2012 (12CD + DVD5)

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Cat Power - Albums Collection 1995-2012 (12CD + DVD5)

Cat Power - Albums Collection 1995-2012 (12CD + DVD5)
FLAC | Tracks (CueLog) ~ 2.85 Gb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 1.25 Gb (incl 5%) | Time: 08:08:18
DVD5 | NTSC | 4:3 (720x480) VBR, 6300 Kbps, 29.970 fps | AC3, 2 ch, 192 Kbps | 01:41:54 | ~ 4.2 Gb (incl 5%)
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock, Folk Rock, Lo Fi, Sadcore | Scans included

01. 3 Times (04:13)
02. Rockets (04:43)
03. Itchyhead (02:44)
04. Yesterday Is Here (03:34)
05. The Sleepwalker (04:02)
06. Mr. Gallo (03:20)
07. No Matter (01:03)
08. Great Expectations (04:13)
09. Runt 6 (04:03)
What Would The Community Think (1996)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (CueLog) ~ 262 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 122 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador | # OLE 202-2 | Time: 00:47:47 | Scans included
What Would the Community Think was the second album Chan Marshall released in 1996, but its richness suggests a longer period of evolution. From the first warm notes of "In this Hole," it's clear that Marshall's voice -- as a singer and a songwriter -- is not only stronger and more focused, but more empathetic as well. Where her previous works were dense and cathartic, What Would the Community Think gives her voice and lyrics space to unfurl and involve the listener; the title track alone holds an album's worth of eloquence in Marshall's hushed, clear vocals, backed by guitar, feedback, and an eerie, echoing piano. Fortunately, that leaves Marshall 11 other tracks with which to forge a fine balance between angular, angst-ridden punk and her gentler, folk-country tendencies. Different combinations of these extremes make Cat Power's sound more diverse but also more cohesive. Tense, tight songs like "Good Clean Fun" and "Nude as the News" retain the reflective, thoughtful nature of quieter numbers like "King Rides By" and "Water and Air," which turn the power of the album's louder moments into slow-building, implosive tension. Two of What Would the Community Think's finest moments, "They Tell Me" and "Taking People," are unabashedly blues and country-inflected, revealing Marshall not just as a cathartic vocalist, but as a true soul singer. Similarly, her covers of Peter Jefferies' "Fate of the Human Carbine" and Smog's "Bathysphere" show off Marshall's ability to make any song a Cat Power song. An intimate, personal album, What Would the Community Think makes imperfection beautiful and turns vulnerability into musical strength.
Review by Heather Phares, Allmusic.com
01. In This Hole (04:59)
02. Good Clean Fun (04:46)
03. What Would The Community Think (04:30)
04. Nude As The News (04:23)
05. They Tell Me (02:53)
06. Taking People (03:25)
07. The Fate Of The Human Carbine (02:58)
08. King Rides By (04:03)
09. Bathysphere (03:01)
10. Water Air (04:43)
11. Enough (04:25)
12. The Coat Is Always On (03:34)
Myra Lee (1996)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (CueLog) ~ 237 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 119 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Smells Like Records | # SLR-019 | Time: 00:46:24 | Scans included
The 1996 album Myra Lee presents a more diverse and fully developed version of Cat Power's music, ranging from the winding, acoustic menace of "Enough" to the sinewy rock of "We All Die." Introspective epics like "Great Expectations," "Faces," and "Wealthy Man" use churning tempos and spiraling guitars to convey Chan Marshall's melancholy musical vision, but gentler songs like the trembling cover of Hank Williams' "Still in Love" and originals like "Top Expert" and "Ice Water" are parts of the picture as well, adding warmth and roundness to the album. As always, Marshall's yearning voice lends extra emotion to her songs, whether it's her clear, soaring vocals on the new version of "Rockets" or her distant, half-heard moans on the final track, "Not What You Want," which sounds genuine to the point of eavesdropping. This raw, overheard sound infuses Myra Lee with a sonic honesty that matches the album's heartfelt songwriting.
Review by Heather Phares, Allmusic.com
01. Enough (05:42)
02. We All Die (05:01)
03. Great Expectations (04:19)
04. Top Expert (03:18)
05. Ice Water (03:39)
06. Still In Love (03:29)
07. Rockets (04:42)
08. Faces (05:00)
09. Fiance (00:31)
10. Wealthy Man (05:08)
11. Not What You Want (05:30)
Moon Pix (1998)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (CueLog) ~ 244 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 115 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador | # OLE 286-2 | Time: 00:46:19 | Scans included
Cat Power's 1998 album Moon Pix continues Chan Marshall's transformation from an indie rock Cassandra into a reflective, accomplished singer/songwriter. Where her previous works were an urgent, aching mix of punk, folk, and blues, Moon Pix is truly soul(ful) music: warm, reflective, complex, and cohesive. For this album, Marshall moved the recording sessions for the album to Australia, and switched her rhythm section to the Dirty Three's Mick Turner and Jim White; the lineup changes add new depth and light to her compelling, intricate guitar work and gently insistent vocals. From the backwards drum loop on "American Flag" (borrowed from the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere") to the fluttering, smoky flutes on "He Turns Down" to the double-tracked vocals and crashing thunderstorms of "Say," Moon Pix's expressive arrangements mirror the songs' fine emotional shadings. Marshall is sunny on the quietly hopeful "You May Know Him," hypnotic and seductive on "Cross Bones Style," and poignant on "Colors the Kids," where she sings, "It's so hard to go into the city/Because you want to say hi, hello, I love you to everybody." As natural and refined as a pearl, Moon Pix is a collection of fragile yet strong songs that reveal Marshall's unique, personal songwriting talents in their full glory.
Review by Heather Phares, Allmusic.com
01. American Flag (03:30)
02. He Turns Down (05:39)
03. No Sense (04:50)
04. Say (03:24)
05. Metal Heart (04:02)
06. Back Of Your Head (03:43)
07. Moonshiner (04:50)
08. You May Know Him (02:46)
09. Colors And The Kids (06:35)
10. Cross Bones Style (04:32)
11. Peking Saint (02:24)
The Covers Record (2000)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (CueLog) ~ 200 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 101 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador | # OLE 426-2 | Time: 00:41:05 | Scans included
On the The Covers Record, Chan Marshall continues her evolution into a remarkably expressive interpreter of songs; her earlier covers of Pavement's "We Dance" and Smog's "Bathysphere" are among her most distinctive performances. This collection includes songs originally by Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Velvet Underground, Moby Grape, Michael Hurley, and Anonymous. Marshall's sparest album yet, The Covers Record uses guitar and piano as the only foils for her malleable, emotional voice. These tools are more than enough to turn the Stones' anthem "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" into a bluesy, slinky version emphasizing the song's tension and frustration as much as its jaded sexiness, and "Kingston Town" from a reggae standard into a hymnal reflection. Marshall's gentle version of Hurley's "Sweedeedee" and plaintive reading of the Velvets' "I Found a Reason" recall the quietest, most spiritual moments from Moon Pix. This culminates on the cover of her own "In This Hole" from What Would the Community Think; one of the most drastic revisions, its soft pianos and serene vocals replace the original's turbulent anguish, reflecting her changing musical path. Marshall explores many emotional directions, from her yearning version of Moby Grape's "Naked If I Want To" to her brooding sensuality on "Wild Is the Wind," to her down-home optimism on Bob Dylan's "Paths of Victory." "Salty Dog"'s lilting melody and humorous lyrics bring out Marshall's Georgia twang, while her version of Smog's "Red Apples" shows off her voice's sensual lows and keening highs. The joyous cover of "Sea of Love" (originally by Phil Phillips) brings this accomplished, heartfelt Covers Record to a very happy end.
Review by Heather Phares, Allmusic.com
01. (I Can`t Get No) Satisfaction (03:05)
02. Kingsport Town (04:55)
03. Troubled Waters (03:29)
04. Naked If I Want To (02:47)
05. Sweedeedee (03:53)
06. In This Hole (04:26)
07. I Found A Reason (02:00)
08. Wild Is The Wind (04:10)
09. Red Apples (04:24)
10. Paths Of Victory (03:24)
11. Salty Dog (02:08)
12. Sea Of Love (02:19)
You Are Free (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (CueLog) ~ 320 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 157 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador | # OLE 427-2 | Time: 00:53:13 | Scans included
You Are Free arrives nearly five years from her last album of original material, and everything, yet nothing, has changed about Chan Marshall's music. The album's title is as much a statement as it is a challenge, a command to free one's self from the hurt and pain of the past, or to at least find a way of making peace with it. Marshall seems to do both on You Are Free, a collection of songs about finding freedom and peace wherever she can. Initially, the album seems more diffuse than Moon Pix, as it spans tense rockers, blues, folk, and singer/songwritery piano ballads, but it gradually reveals itself as Marshall's most mature and thematically focused work yet. You Are Free opens with a stunning trio of songs that encompass most of the moods and sounds she explores later in the album. On "I Don't Blame You," the first of You Are Free's many spare, piano-driven moments, Marshall paints a portrait of a tormented musician, her voice so full of sympathy that she may well be singing a reconciliation to a previous incarnation of herself. The brisk, buzzing intensity of "Free," however, offers liberation in the form of rock roll's immediate, poetic nonsense: "Don't be in love with the autograph/Just be in love when you love that song all night long." You Are Free's first two songs address musicians and making music directly; Marshall is a famously willful, volatile artist, and the increasing gaps between her albums (not to mention her unpredictable live performances) suggest that being a musician isn't the easiest thing for her to do, even if it's a necessary one. She addresses the struggle to do the right, but difficult, thing on "Good Woman," a near-spiritual breakup song where, backed by a children's choir and fiddles, Marshall explains that she needs to be a good woman with -- or more likely, without -- her bad man. Aside from being a lovely song, it's also a departure; earlier in her career the song might have just focused on the conflict instead of Marshall's gently strong resolution to it. This gentle but resolute strength runs through most of You Are Free's best moments, such as "He War" and especially "Names," a terrifyingly matter-of-fact recollection of child abuse and lost friends that says more in its resigned sorrow than a histrionic tirade would. As the album progresses, it moves toward the spare, affecting ballads that give her later work a strange timelessness; listening to You Are Free gives the impression of stripping away layers to get to the essence of Marshall's music. In some ways, the quiet last half of this album is more demanding than the angsty noise of Dear Sir or Myra Lee, but hearing her find continually creative interpretations of minor keys, plaintive pianos, and folky guitars is well worth the attention it takes, whether it's the dead-of-night eroticism of her cover of Michael Hurley's "Werewolf," the pretty yet eerie longing of "Fool," or the prairie romance of "Half of You." Every Cat Power album takes at least a few listens to fully reveal itself; You Are Free may take awhile longer than expected to unfold, but once it does, its excellence is undeniable.
Review by Heather Phares, Allmusic.com
01. I Don't Blame You (03:05)
02. Free (03:34)
03. Good Woman (03:58)
04. Speak For Me (03:04)
05. Werewolf (04:08)
06. Fool (03:49)
07. He War (03:32)
08. Shaking Paper (04:36)
09. Babydoll (02:56)
10. Maybe Not (04:19)
11. Names (04:51)
12. Half Of You (02:42)
13. Keep On Runnin' (03:51)
14. Evolution (04:44)
Speaking for Trees: A Film by Mark Borthwick (DVD) + Willie Deadwilder (CD) (2004)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (CueLog) ~ 96 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 53 Mb (incl 5%) | Time: 00:18:18
DVD5 | NTSC | 4:3 (720x480) VBR, 6300 Kbps, 29.970 fps | AC3, 2 ch, 192 Kbps | 01:41:54 | ~ 4.2 Gb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador | # Ole 628-9/Ole 628-2 | Scans included
Clad in baggy jeans and a black t-shirt, her long hair hiding her face, a generally unself-conscious Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) stands front and center in Mark Borthwick's experimental film Speaking for Trees. Standing in tall grass in anonymous woodlands, Marshall plays an electric guitar-- presumably plugged into a portable amp kept carefully out of the frame-- and sings some of her own songs ("You Are Free" and "I Don't Blame You", among others) as well as covers of tracks by Duke Ellington, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, and M. Ward. The boundaries between the songs blur, turning the performance into a medley-- a snippet of one track interrupts another as Marshall wanders the frame, accompanied only by crickets and cicadas and the wind through the leaves. The camera is largely stationary-- shooting extremely long shots-- and occasionally the exposure is altered, bleaching the picture. The sunlight is garish; the trees are stoic, moved only by the wind. The film, as low-key as Marshall's music, lasts nearly two hours.
It's a simple concept, but that doesn't mean it's not high concept. Released on DVD and packaged alongside a 64-page booklet of Borthwick's photography and a one-song CD, the film's naturalism is exactingly calculated: Marshall sings extemporaneously, stopping to push her hair out of her face or swat flies buzzing around a mic clipped to her shirt, and the film wants to amplify these small interruptions as evidence of its improvisatory nature and signifiers of the notoriously shy singer's personality. But these actions are an effect more of the environment than of Marshall's performance style-- any performer in this setting would do the same. Furthermore, despite the high definition of DVD, the film's pronounced graininess does not allow for very much detail, which renders Marshall's face as little more than a blur, as if it has been digitally blotted.
Speaking for Trees obscures Marshall even as it presents her literally at the center of the frame. On one hand, the compelling, often maddening sense of mystery surrounding Marshall remains intact. On the other, despite her haunting voice and more-than-capable guitar playing, neither she nor her music is the film's true subject; instead, it's Borthwick's ingenious concept that comes across most strongly. By trying to place Marshall's barebones music within an equally barebones setting, he has essentially turned the camera on himself.
The DVD includes three other short films, each of which is soundtracked by one of Marshall's songs and set on a beach that is as nondescript as the woods in "Speaking for Trees". "Maybe Not" features a mother and child walking through the surf; two girls, wet with saltwater, dance to "Free"; and bleached-out shots of rocks and waves accompany "Half of You". These pieces are just as straightforward as Speaking for Trees, and Borthwick's minimal camerawork transforms them into live-action postcards. They're more intriguing than Speaking for Trees-- and not just because they're shorter or there is more activity in the frame, but because they're primarily visual rather than musical and/or documentary pieces.
The accompanying CD is as conceptual as Speaking for Trees' titular film: For one thing, it only has one song, whimsically titled "Willie Deadwilder". The track itself is more than 18 minutes of Marshall singing and M. Ward playing the same theme on acoustic guitar over and over. Just as the film foregoes all cinematic niceties, "Willie Deadwilder" eschews a pronounced song structure in favor of a short vocal melody that repeats throughout the song-- in other words, no verses, choruses, guitar solos, bridges, or breakdowns.
Such an undertaking is pure folly yet somehow Marshall makes it not just listenable but deeply intriguing. Featuring a performance that sounds just as off the cuff as the one in Speaking for Trees, the song begins with the title character and his lover Rebecca, an archetypal couple descended from Frankie and Johnny and John Prine's "Donald and Lydia", among too many others to list. But "Willie Deadwilder" is not the story-song this first section suggests, as Marshall breaks her narrator's distance and inserts herself into the proceedings: "The first time I saw her," she sings in Willie's voice before switching to Rebecca's and finally dropping the two characters altogether. As the song continues, she namedrops St. Augustine and recalls hearing Dylan sing "Ramona" in the back of a cab. She then thanks friends and strangers for specific gifts: A girl who gave her a turquoise ring, a journalist who gave her a sweater, a man who gave her a song and flowers, another who gave her sanity.
Like "I Don't Blame You" and "You Are Free", "Willie Deadwilder" is music as a meditation on music, specifically on its capacity for self-expression, and its power to connect and communicate. It's a song about several songs, and this meta aspect never sounds forced or calculated-- instead, it seems artful and intuitive. Like Sonic Youth's "Diamond Sea", every aspect of the track-- its lyrics, length, sense of performance-- conveys this idea: "This is...our song/ And it will go on and on/ A moment in time traveling on/ Even if it is too long, I don't care."
Sold together in handsomely minimalist packaging, the film and song complement each other in surprising ways, but the set remains an oddity: One is too dull and the other too long to be of much use to any but the most obsessive fans-- but to those Cat Power aficionados, they form a strange, often fascinating curio.
Review by Stephen M. Deusner, Allmusic.com
CD Tracklist:
CD Willie Deadwilder:
01. Willie Deadwilder (18:18)
DVD Content:
01. "Time Is on My Side" (Jerry Ragovoy as Norman Meade)
02. "Night Time/ Back of Your Head" (Alex Chilton/Chan Marshall)
03. "Rule the Islands"
04. "You"
05. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan)
06. "From Fur City"
07. "I Want"
08. "Dream/ Blue Moon/ Try a Little Tenderness"
09. "You"
10. "From Fur City"
11. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan)
12. "Farewell My Enemy"
13. "Sad, Sad, Song" (M. Ward))
14. "Rule the Islands"
15. "Evolution"
16. "Night Time/ Back of Your Head" (Alex Chilton/Chan Marshall)
17. "Sophisticated Lady" (Duke Ellington/Irving Mills/Mitchell Parish)
18. "I Don't Blame You"
19. "Dream/ Blue Moon/ Try a Little Tenderness"
20. "The Party"
21. "Funny Things"
22. "Love and Communication"
23. "From Fur City"
24. "Sad, Sad, Song" (M. Ward)
25. "Night Time/ Back of Your Head" (Alex Chilton/Chan Marshall)
26. "Sophisticated Lady" (Duke Ellington/Irving Mills/Mitchell Parish)
27. "I Want"
28. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan)
29. "Lord, Help the Poor and Needy" (Traditional)
The Greatest (2006)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (CueLog) ~ 283 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 120 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador | # OLE 626-2 | Time: 00:44:05 | Scans included
The Greatest (no, it's not a hits collection) makes it clear just how much Chan Marshall grows with each album she releases. Three years on from You Are Free, she sounds reinvented yet again: Marshall returned to Memphis, TN -- where she recorded What Would the Community Think nearly a decade earlier -- to make an homage to the Southern soul and pop she listened to as a young girl. Working with great Memphis soul musicians such as Mabon "Teenie" Hodges, Leroy "Flick" Hodges, and Dave Smith, she crafted an album that is even more focused and accessible than You Are Free was, and pushes her even closer toward straightforward singer/songwriter territory. The title track is a subtle but powerful statement of purpose: with its lush, "Moon River" strings and lyrics about a young boy who wanted to become a boxer, the song is as moving as her earlier work but also a big step away from the angst-ridden diary-rock that her music is sometimes categorized as. Likewise, on the gospel-tinged "Living Proof" and the charming "Could We," Marshall is sexy, strong, and playful, and far from the stereotype of her as a frail, howling waif. But the truth is, sweet Southern songs like these have been in her repertoire since What Would the Community Think's "They Tell Me" and "Taking People" (You Are Free's "Good Woman" and "Half of You" are also touchstones for this album); The Greatest is just a more polished, palatable version of this side of her music. This is the most listenable Cat Power album Marshall has made, and one that could easily win her lots of new fans. It's also far from a sell-out -- The Greatest sounds like the album Marshall wanted to make, without any specific (or larger) audience in mind. And yet, the very things about The Greatest that make it appealing to a larger audience also make it less singular and sublime than, say, Moon Pix or You Are Free. The productions and arrangements on songs like "Lived in Bars" and "Empty Shell" are so immaculate and intricate that they threaten to overwhelm Marshall's gorgeous voice. And, occasionally, the album's warm, soulful, laid-back vibe goes from mellow to sleepy, particularly on "Willie" and "The Moon." Two of The Greatest's best songs show that she doesn't need to be edgy and tortured or gussied up with elaborate productions to sound amazing: "Where Is My Love" reaffirms that all Marshall needs is a piano and that voice to make absolutely spellbinding music. On the other hand, "Love Communication"'s modern, complicated take on love gains a quiet intensity with judiciously used strings and keyboards. For what it is, The Greatest is exceedingly well done, and people who have never heard of Cat Power before could very well love this album immediately. However, it might take a little more work for those who have loved her music from the beginning.
Review by Heather Phares, Allmusic.com
01. The Greatest (03:22)
02. Living Proof (03:11)
03. Lived In Bars (03:44)
04. Could We (02:21)
05. Empty Shell (03:04)
06. Willie (05:57)
07. Where Is My Love (02:53)
08. The Moon (03:45)
09. Islands (01:44)
10. After It All (03:31)
11. Hate (03:38)
12. Love Communication (04:34)
13. Up And Gone (02:15)
The Greatest (2006) Japanese Edition
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (CueLog) ~ 292 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 127 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador/Pony Canyon | # PCD-23724 | Time: 00:46:53 | Scans included
01. The Greatest (03:22)
02. Living Proof (03:11)
03. Lived In Bars (03:44)
04. Could We (02:21)
05. Empty Shell (03:04)
06. Willie (05:57)
07. Where Is My Love (02:53)
08. The Moon (03:45)
09. Islands (01:44)
10. After It All (03:31)
11. Hate (03:38)
12. Love Communication (04:34)
13. Up and Gone (02:16)
14. Dreams (02:46)
Jukebox (2008) 2CD Edition
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (CueLog) ~ 390 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 155 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador | # OLE 793-2 | Time: 01:03:11 | Scans included
Eight years is a long time in almost any artist's career, but in Cat Power's case, it's an even more sizable gulf, as Chan Marshall's collections of other people's songs reflect. Released in 2000, The Covers Record found her becoming an ever more nuanced performer, tempering the rawness and intensity of her earlier albums with a lighter approach. Arriving in 2008, Jukebox reaffirms what a polished artist she's become, especially since her Memphis soul homage The Greatest. But where The Greatest sometimes bordered on slick, Jukebox's blend of country, soul, blues, and jazz feels lived-in and natural. Marshall recorded this set with her touring act, the Dirty Delta Blues Band, featuring some of indie rock's finest players, including her longtime drummer, the Dirty Three's Jim White -- who gives even the quietest moments vitality -- as well as Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's Judah Bauer and Chavez's Matt Sweeney, so it's not surprising that the album often plays like an especially well-recorded concert. However, some of the session legends she worked with on The Greatest make guest appearances, including Teenie Hodges and Spooner Oldham. Oldham's song for Janis Joplin, "A Woman Left Lonely," appears here, and the original's sophisticated yet earthy sound is one of the album's biggest influences.
As on The Covers Record, Marshall makes bold choices. She citifies Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man" (switched to "Ramblin' [Wo]Man" here), turning it slinky and smoky with spacious drums and rippling Rhodes; despite the very different surroundings, the song's desperate loneliness remains. Joni Mitchell's icily beautiful "Blue" gets a thaw and a late-night feel that are completely different but just as compelling. Not all of Jukebox's transformations are this successful: Marshall's penchant for turning formerly brash songs brooding (like The Covers Record's "Satisfaction") sounds too predictable on Frank Sinatra's "New York." And, while the choice to change James Brown's "I Lost Someone" from searing and pleading to languid was brave, the results fall flat. One of the most drastic remakes is Marshall's own Moon Pix track "Metal Heart," which adds more drama and dynamics to one of her prettiest melodies. While the way this version swings from aching verses to cathartic choruses works, the subtlety and simplicity of the original are missed. Indeed, many of Jukebox's best moments are the simplest. Marshall's reworking of the Highwaymen's 1990 hit "Silver Stallion" frees the song from its dated production, replacing it with acoustic guitar and pedal steel that impart a timeless, restless beauty. She pays Bob Dylan homage with a gritty, defiant, yet reverent take on "I Believe in You" from his 1978 Christian album Slow Train Coming and "Song to Bobby," Jukebox's lone new track, dedicated to and inspired by Dylan so thoroughly that she borrows his trademark cadences without sounding like an impersonation. Uneven as it may be, Jukebox is still a worthwhile portrait of Chan Marshall's artistry.
Review by Heather Phares, Allmusic.com
01. New York (02:00)
02. Ramblin' (Wo)Man (03:47)
03. Metal Heart (03:54)
04. Silver Stallion (02:52)
05. Aretha, Sing One For Me (03:12)
06. Lost Someone (02:50)
07. Lord, Help The Poor And Needy (02:37)
08. I Believe In You (04:07)
09. Song To Bobby (04:17)
10. Don't Explain (03:50)
11. Woman Left Lonely (04:07)
12. Blue (04:02)
01. I Feel (02:48)
02. Naked, If I Want To (02:36)
03. Breathless (05:04)
04. Angelitos Negros (07:33)
05. She's Got You (03:29)
Sun (2012)
XLD | FLAC | Tracks (CueLog) ~ 349 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 122 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador | # OLE 773-2 | Time: 00:49:01 | Scans included
Six years between albums would be a lifetime for many artists, but Cat Power's Chan Marshall managed to pack a couple of lifetimes' worth of experiences between The Greatest and Sun. A happy relationship, health issues and writer's block were among the many things that kept her away from music during that time, and with a life that full, it's no wonder that this album, Marshall's seventh set of original songs, is so different than the one that came before it. Instead of working with veteran musicians, she wrote, recorded, and produced Sun on her own, added electronic instruments to her repertoire, and enlisted Cassius' Philippe Zdar to help with the mixing duties (which he did with a minimum of interference). While it's miles away from The Greatest's retro-soul, Sun isn't Cat Power-goes-electro, either; anyone fearing relentless house beats or an onslaught of cheesy synths should have their fears calmed by the beautiful opening track "Cherokee," where a few tasteful keyboards rev up the yearning chorus, and skittering beats fit right in with the guitar and piano. The song also introduces Sun's remarkably spare production aesthetic, which sounds all the more striking coming after The Greatest's lushness; even if this album is more consciously modern-sounding than its predecessor, it's also a lot less slick. Actually, the willingness and ability to mix, bend, and blend old and new sounds that Marshall shows here isn't such a far cry from the more sonically adventurous moments on Moon Pix and especially You Are Free; she's just expanding on that instinct and adding a more hopeful songwriting bent. What really matters, and what really shines on Sun, is Marshall's voice, which sounds so unabashedly human and lived-in that not even the Auto-Tune on songs such as "3,6,9" can tweak the grit out of it. These songs give Marshall some of the widest-ranging backdrops she's ever had for that voice, whether it's more overtly electronic tracks such as the hypnotic title cut and the ominous "Silent Machine," which suddenly glitches up like ripping the skin off an android, or the more familiar but still compelling territory of "Human Being"'s rolling blues or the delicate piano ballad "Manhattan," which sparkles like freshly fallen snow. Sun also boasts some of her happiest-sounding songs, in particular "Nothin' But Time," an 11-minute epic dedicated to her ex-boyfriend Giovanni Ribisi's teen daughter, to whom Marshall sings "You got nothin' but time/And it ain't got nothin' on you." It seems like the perfect way to end the album, until the actual closing track "Peace and Love," which is the closest Marshall has gotten to hip-hop, brings things to an end with unexpected but welcome humor. Sun lives up to its name, but its album cover is more revealing: like the rainbow crossing Marshall's face, these songs are the meeting point between a stormy past and optimism for the future.
Review by Heather Phares, Allmusic.com
01. Cherokee (04:46)
02. Sun (03:19)
03. Ruin (04:33)
04. 3,6,9 (04:00)
05. Always On My Own (02:23)
06. Real Life (02:37)
07. Human Being (03:28)
08. Manhattan (05:16)
09. Silent Machine (04:00)
10. Nothin But Time (10:55)
11. Peace And Love (03:39)

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Tags to an Article: Cat, Power, Albums, Collection, 1995

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