"Jukebox" by Cat Power Jan 23, 2008 0:53:32 GMT -5
Post by Rick Henry on Jan 23, 2008 0:53:32 GMT -5
Cat Power - Jukebox: Click Here
Today was the release of "Jukebox" the newest effort from one of my new favorites named Cat Power and uncharacteristic of me I ran out today and bought it... I was that excited about it. Cat Power is American singer Chan Marshall. Chan is a true delight. she keeps herwelf out of the limelight and produces some of today's most original and unique sounds. She's not for everybody... but once you catch on to her you will be hooked for life. Chan Marshall is not a fad or the "next big thing"... she is an artist of sincerity and authenticity.
Here are a few reviews from Amazon.com on her newly released album...
The first I wrote for my friends at Cd MusicLine
Chan Marshall wins again! Cat Power first came to my attention in 2006 with the release of "The Greatest"... and believe me I really felt "The Greatest" was the greatest. Now comes "Jukebox" and again Chan Marshall is won me over.
"Jukebox" is what I call jazz and blues for today's generation of music lovers. This album is dark and downbeat with shimmering pulses of excitement. From beginning to end each song captures you and keeps you listening.
The album opens with a understated yet vaguely bombastic cover of "New York, New York" which Chan calls "New York". Her voice is soothing as she sings "start spreading the news". This is "NY,NY" like I've never heard it before. While others merely have copied the original, Chan takes the song and gives it a new life and makes it completely her own.
Ramblin' (Wo)man" is Chan's take on Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man" again she wins and makes even this classic her own.
Chan Marshall's voice, as understated as it is, has a great presence. Vocally Chan is not in the league as singers such as Nina Simone, Karen Carpenter, Annie Lennox or Aretha Franklin, though Chan possesses a charm all her own. She has her own sound and style which is inimitable and for that alone Chan is one of today's greatest vocal stylists. Her voice carries a gruff yet smooth melancholic confidence. She has a raw intimacy that nobody else on today's music scene can quite match.
At this early stage my favorite track is "Don't Explain" which has long been a Billie Holiday classic. Chan takes this blues staple and completely turns it around while retaining the song's underlying mournful blues feel. Chan's performance of this song, unique as it is, is every bit as effective as Billie Holiday's. Billie had her style and Chan has her own way of presenting jazz and blues to a society of music listeners waiting for something new and freshly exciting. Cat Power (Chan Marshall) fills the bill and succeeds.
This second review was written by Marie deVarenne
Cat Power, aka Chan Marshall, is well past that initial flush of youth, but after giving up the booze and seeming to quell her fragile nerves, the 35-year-old American is enjoying a second coming.
She doesn't simply perform or regurgitate old songs, she adopts them and makes them very much her own. Jukebox is further evidence of this, as she tackles everything from the Sinatra staple "New York, New York" to Joni Mitchell's "Blue" in her own inimitable style.
Just when you thought karaoke had kicked the last signs of life out of 'New York, New York',now simply titled "New York", it opens this record like a long-lost rhythm and blues classic, powered with élan by her Dirty Delta Blues band, who create marvellously fluid musical patterns and an infectious drum groove round which Marshall weaves her ethereal, quietly soulful voice.
Backed by her new collective The Dirty Delta Blues Band, including Dirty Three drummer Jim White and Jon Spencer, Blues Explosion's Judah Bauer, as well as impressive guests like the legendary SXXXXXer Oldham and Al Green guitarist Teenie Hodges, the sound of the album is as warm and authentic as The Greatest.
The pivotal point is her interpretation of Dylan's "I Believe In You" from the days his career took a detour up a Christian cul-de-sac, reshaped into a piece of Keith Richards-inspired raunch.
"Song To Bobby" echoes Dylan's Sixties heyday down to the most subtle vocal inflection and finger shift on the fretboard.
She also updates "Metal Heart", a song first recorded for her 1998 album Moon Pix, haunting it with a brooding vocal and a strangulated guitar motif taking refuge from a Neil Young tune.
Her take on Hank Williams' "Ramblin' (Wo)Man" recalls the laid back grooves of Portishead with swells of slide guitar and skittering beats. While Hank Williams and Billie Holiday might not recognise the versions of "Ramblin' Man'" and "Don't Explain", you suspect they would wholeheartedly approve, although Janis Joplin might feel second best to a great reworking of "A Woman Left Lonely".
"Silver Stallion" provides one of the album's highlights with a minimal amount of acoustic accompaniment.
Originally recorded by country super-group The Highwaymen (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson) it's an intimate delight.
It is an unsurprising album. It sounds exactly how you'd expect - classic, but not overly well known, songs, like Dylan's "Believe In You", squeezed by the Cat Power sound into tracks that sound like they could feature on The Greatest.
At some points the jacket is a little too tight, and you'd like the songs to come out by themselves a bit more. Witness Chan's cover of "Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again'"from the soundtrack to Todd Haynes's Dylan Movie, I'm Not There - it mixes the original's exuberance with Marshall's cloudy vocals, and is all the better for it.
The last track of the album, the title track from Joni Mitchell's magnum opus Blue, suggests the true nature of this record and, in fact, all cover albums: catharsis.
Seldom is an album of cover versions so brilliantly distanced from the originals. Chan Marshall uses her artistic alter ego Cat Power to reinvent and energise songs originally performed by the biggest artists of the last century.
Whether this album is simply a way of avoiding her own song writing or just having fun exploring the work of others there is no doubting her art and distinct mastery of interpretation. And that in itself warrants high applause.
Standout Tracks : "New York", "Silver Stallion", "Aretha Sing One For Me" and "Song To Bobby".