Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cat Power, SUN, September 5th 2012

I didn't have high expectations for a new Cat Power album. Not even when I read NPR's review, touting it as her best album to date. It's no surprise to me that the NPR reviewer doesn't deeply love her early albums such as Myra Lee and What Would the Community Think? That kind of young female angst is not something that everyone understands, and especially if they don't have an appreciation for dark music.

There is so much raw, creative talent in Cat Power's earlier albums, words can hardly describe it. None of her albums since have come close to making an impact on me the way that those first ones did. Her sound has become increasingly happier, which is nice because we have grown out of our angst together. However, the creative edge has not been as strong, perhaps no longer freed by the booze.

I listened to SUN apprehensively. The first song "Cherokee" was disappointing. Trite rhymes, "Cherokee, kiss me" are not only heard in this track, but also on other tracks such as "3,6,9." The eagle call on "Cherokee" is just, well, trendy.

The rest of the album is quite good. "Manhattan" is a great tune. "Nothin' But Time" is a long, beautiful song, written for her ex-partner's daughter. It also features the deep voice of Iggy Pop - deep voices make for complimentary backgrounds with Chan's dreamsicle voice, as heard on You Are Free in 2003 with Eddie Vedder. "Human Being" is another good track, with a nice message.

While not my favorite Cat Power album, SUN is still a good one, that I enjoyed washing dishes to and in the office. I am glad Chan Marshall is finally back in my good graces, although hopefully she can redeem herself more on her next album.

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