Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Album Review:
Cat Power - Jukebox

Cat Power - Jukebox

(Matador, 2008)


"Metal Heart" [mp3]
(Busted By Web Sheriff 1/22/08)

How does someone review a covers album? Does one judge the selection of songs, their treatment, or their place within the artist's catalog? I ask because I've never been the biggest fan of covers. All I know is, a good cover should maintain the charm/intensity/essence of the original, while also allowing the artist to incorporate his or her unique sound. (Consider, on the most basic level, Yo La Tengo's take on the Simpsons' theme. This brief cover is unarguably faithful to the original, yet sounds like a version only YLT could envision.)

This crucial requirement is perhaps the biggest reason why Cat Power's second covers album fails to captivate.

Jukebox continues Chan Marshall's transition to bluesier, more soulful work, a la 2006's The Greatest. This creates some intriguing results, such as her jazzy renditions of "Theme from 'New York, New York'" or James' Brown's "Lost Someone."

Yet, and perhaps this is the cover-hater in me, Marshall's most narcisstic -- and accomplished -- moment comes via a cover of "Metal Heart" off her 1998 album Moon Pix. I think this track may be in the running for 2008's Best Songs from Mediocre/Bad Albums, as we see an already standout track given the new smokier, bluesier Cat Power treatment.

I'm not sure what Marshall has in store for us next. Until then, I'll be listening to The Greatest and wondering when she'll get back to doing what she does best -- her own music.


Web Sheriff said...

Protecting Your Rights on the Internet
Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
Fax 44-(0)208-323 8080


Hi Femme Fatale,

On behalf of Matador Records, many thanks for plugging Cat Power ... .. we would, however, kindly ask you not to post copies of "JUKEBOX" on your site (or any individual tracks from Cat Power's newly released album - US release date 22nd Jan 08).

We do appreciate that you are fans of / are promoting Cat Power, but Matador would greatly appreciate your co-operation in removing your link to the pirate files in question.

As you will appreciate, this e-mail is written on a without prejudice basis and, as such, all of our clients' accumulated, worldwide rights remain strictly reserved : please excuse this required formality.

With Thanks & Regards


Femme Fatale said...

OK, Web Sheriff, you caught me red handed. Thanks for being so magnanimous about busting my ace.

P.S. Please don't sue us. :(

SonicRyan said...

This never woulda happened if you had giver the album a better score. Oh, and you can still stream the track in our player...so...you know...