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Alternative & Indie - Released October 5, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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A guitar held up by the neck, a child's head pressed against the holder's body. Cat Power reveals a lot with the cover of her tenth album. The American is up and running again and now she is a mother. At 46, Chan Marshall seems to be doing... better? Well, It's not as if her life, which has been studded with internal chaos, turbulence, a lot of moving around, depression and addiction is going to be all plain sailing from here on in, but Wanderer contains some of her most beautiful songs yet. Stripped-down compositions. A simple piano. A few notes on a guitar. A lean rhythm section. It's clear that the message here is "less is more."Perhaps her aim is to return to the roots of her old folk and blues mentors. Bringing a child into the world during the Trump era is enough to get anyone thinking again... And Cat Power hasn't sung for years. Her tones with their bluesy style, unmistakeable from the first syllable, reach sublime heights here. After a slightly electro detour with Sun, mixed by Zdar from Cassius, she doesn't give us too many surprises here in terms of the pretty classical form of her songs, but the surprise comes in the sheer quality of the tracks. One of her biggest fans, Lana Del Rey, makes an appearance on the album on the track Woman maintaining the sober feel to this beautiful and honest record. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz 
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 24, 2006 | Matador

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 10, 1996 | Matador

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 17, 2003 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 21, 2000 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 22, 1998 | Matador

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Sun

Alternative & Indie - Released September 3, 2012 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 21, 2008 | Matador

Jukebox reaffirms what a polished artist Cat Power's Chan Marshall became after her Memphis soul homage The Greatest. Made with her touring act, the Dirty Delta Blues Band, the album's blend of country, soul, blues, and jazz feels lived-in and natural, like a particularly well-recorded concert. Marshall makes bold choices, turning Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man" slinky and smoky, but the song's desperate loneliness remains. 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; "Song to Bobby," Jukebox's lone new track, is inspired by Dylan so thoroughly that she borrows his trademark cadences without sounding like an impersonator. Instead, Marshall remains a gifted interpreter on this and the album's other songs. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 9, 2008 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 24, 2006 | Matador

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. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 19, 2020 | Love Supreme - Justice

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 13, 1996 | Smells Like Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 28, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 13, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 16, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 6, 2005 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 14, 2014 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 18, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 9, 1996 | Matador

One of the most intense moments on Chan Marshall's 1996 breakthrough LP, What Would the Community Think?, "Nude as the News" rides a starkly incoherent, strangely political bend, with Marshall singing matter-of-factly, "Jackson, Jesse, I've got a son in me/and he's related to you." The B-side, "Schizophrenia's Weighted Me Down," is an acoustic collage of mental illness, combining elements of Sonic Youth's noise rock schism "Schizophrenia" and the psychedelia of Alexander "Skip" Spence's "Weighted Down (the Prison Song)." © Bryan Carroll /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2006 | Plain Recordings

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Cat Power in the magazine
  • Less is more
    Less is more A guitar held up by the neck, a child's head pressed against the holder's body. Cat Power reveals a lot with the cover of her tenth album.