Cat Power – Sun

For her first album in six years Chan Marshall has changed tack slightly, it’s for the better and clear from the first track that this is an altogether different beast. Loops, piano and synths, Latin beats and catchy guitar licks fill the eleven songs here. Marshall is in fine voice also and even better when she is dual layering her vocal parts. ‘3,6,9’ is the natural successor to Feist’s ‘1,2,3,4’ and could have been penned by Jack White, it is a strong stand out, as is the nine minute ‘Nothin But Time’ where she is joined by Iggy pop as they sing over a borrowed bit of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’.  ‘Manhattan’ seems to evoke the city itself and ‘Silent Machine’ chugs along at a slow almost Nine Inch Nails style pace. But it’s in songs like the opener ‘Cherokee’ and closer ‘Peace and Love’ with its sing-a-long ‘Na Na Na’s’ that Marshall’s knack for writing a compelling tune comes to the forefront and whether it’s in the previously mentioned piano lead ‘Nothin But Time’ or the vocal ‘Human Being’, where the music seems to take a back seat to her voice, there is a real warmth and passion that elevates the songs above the usual singer/songwriter fodder making ‘Sun’ her most accomplished and accessible record to date.

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