Cat Power

By - Jan 1st, 2006 02:52 pm
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By Erin Wolf

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Cat Power�s Chan Marshall has become something of a gothic folk legend, like the music she�s created over the past decade. Part indie rocker, part folk storyteller, part mystery, with complements of dark and brooding lyrics and extreme stage fright and self-doubt, Marshall rises above all her clouds with The Greatest.

Going back to her Georgian roots, she employs her cultural background as the main emphasis on The Greatest, leaving the foundation of previous albums. Sonically, she re-constructs and tweaks her new songs with the help of capable Memphis musicians, including Al Green�s guitarist Mabon �Teenie� Hodges, Jim Spakes on saxophone and Doug Easley for a little dose of pedal steel.

The Greatest begins with the startlingly beautiful title track about a boy who wants to be a boxer; its wistful reflection sets the tone for the album. The second track, �Living Proof,� warmly swells with horns and organs, showcasing Marshall�s lovely, throaty voice, which is better suited to the role of soul singer than dejected chanteuse.

The Greatest features personal songs soaked with the languidness of a Southern afternoon, favoring relaxed storytelling and at times breaking the circle with piano-crooning introspection.

2006 finds Cat Power in a more comfortable and truly natural place � it�s as though all the tension and angst from previous albums has finally run its race, and Marshall is finally at ease. The Greatest speaks volumes for her personal journey.   VS

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