Sunday, January 27, 2008


Just a few years ago, Chan Marshall a.k.a. Cat Power was in a bad place. Instead of being treated to the haunted voice of the singer they heard on the albums, fans at Cat Power concerts got an already drunk, disheveled Marshall that could hardly stand up. In 2006, she returned with The Greatest, a soulful album that saw Marshall sober and at her peak. Jukebox, her latest effort finds Marshall not covering, but reinterperating the songs that matter most to her yet again (she did it first on 2000's The Covers Record) Listening to her covers of Sinatra's "New York" and Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man" (here "Ramblin' (Wo)Man), you'll forget that someone else made them famous. Marshall's recovery from addiction is best seen in her uplifting cover of Bob Dylan's "I Believe in You." Though Dylan wrote it about his new found faith in God, Marshall sings it as a song of redemption and recovery. After just my first listen, I knew this album was great, but after a second, I can without hesitation say Jukebox is the first great album of 2008.

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