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Jukebox
     

Jukebox

4.7 3
by Cat Power
 

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After her breakthrough disc, The Greatest, Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power, offers a southern-soul-style collection of covers that range from James Brown to Joni Mitchell. A pair of originals show off her intimate, haunted vocals. Marshall is joined by Dirty Delta Blues, a roots-rock band with an indie streak, featuring Jon Spencer

Overview

After her breakthrough disc, The Greatest, Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power, offers a southern-soul-style collection of covers that range from James Brown to Joni Mitchell. A pair of originals show off her intimate, haunted vocals. Marshall is joined by Dirty Delta Blues, a roots-rock band with an indie streak, featuring Jon Spencer Blues Explosion guitarist Judah Bauer and Dirty Three drummer Jim White, alongside Memphis stalwarts Spooner Oldham, Teenie Hodges, and others.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Eight years is a long time in almost any artist's career, but in Cat Power's case, it's an even more sizable gulf, as Chan Marshall's collections of other people's songs reflect. Released in 2000, The Covers Record found her becoming an ever more nuanced performer, tempering the rawness and intensity of her earlier albums with a lighter approach. Arriving in 2008, Jukebox reaffirms what a polished artist she's become, especially since her Memphis soul homage The Greatest. But where The Greatest sometimes bordered on slick, Jukebox's blend of country, soul, blues, and jazz feels lived-in and natural. Marshall recorded this set with her touring act, the Dirty Delta Blues Band, featuring some of indie rock's finest players, including her longtime drummer, the Dirty Three's Jim White -- who gives even the quietest moments vitality -- as well as Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's Judah Bauer and Chavez's Matt Sweeney, so it's not surprising that the album often plays like an especially well-recorded concert. However, some of the session legends she worked with on The Greatest make guest appearances, including Teenie Hodges and Spooner Oldham. Oldham's song for Janis Joplin, "A Woman Left Lonely," appears here, and the original's sophisticated yet earthy sound is one of the album's biggest influences. As on The Covers Record, Marshall makes bold choices. She citifies Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man" (switched to "Ramblin' [Wo]Man" here), turning it slinky and smoky with spacious drums and rippling Rhodes; despite the very different surroundings, the song's desperate loneliness remains. Joni Mitchell's icily beautiful "Blue" gets a thaw and a late-night feel that are completely different but just as compelling. Not all of Jukebox's transformations are this successful: Marshall's penchant for turning formerly brash songs brooding (like The Covers Record's "Satisfaction") sounds too predictable on Frank Sinatra's "New York." And, while the choice to change James Brown's "I Lost Someone" from searing and pleading to languid was brave, the results fall flat. One of the most drastic remakes is Marshall's own Moon Pix track "Metal Heart," which adds more drama and dynamics to one of her prettiest melodies. While the way this version swings from aching verses to cathartic choruses works, the subtlety and simplicity of the original are missed. Indeed, many of Jukebox's best moments are the simplest. Marshall's reworking of the Highwaymen's 1990 hit "Silver Stallion" frees the song from its dated production, replacing it with acoustic guitar and pedal steel that impart a timeless, restless beauty. 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 and "Song to Bobby," Jukebox's lone new track, dedicated to and inspired by Dylan so thoroughly that she borrows his trademark cadences without sounding like an impersonation. Uneven as it may be, Jukebox is still a worthwhile portrait of Chan Marshall's artistry.
Rolling Stone
She refashions material from other artists and makes it seem like it's been hers all along...Marshall belts out a newly confident swagger as if she's breaking in a new pair of fancy red shoes. Melissa Maerz
Toronto Star - Ben Rayner
A simple, guitar-and-voice version of the blues traditional "Lord, Help the Poor & Needy" and Marshall's eerie, organ-haunted run at Joni Mitchell's "Blue" bring the goosebumps we expect a Cat Power record to bring.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/22/2008
Label:
Matador Records
UPC:
0744861075424
catalogNumber:
10754
Rank:
131148

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cat Power   Primary Artist
Mabon "Teenie" Hodges   Guitar
Larry McDonald   Percussion
Spooner Oldham   Organ
Judah Bauer   Guitar
Matt Sweeney   Guitar
Chan Marshall   Vocals
Gregg Foreman   Piano
Dylan Willemsa   Viola
Erik Paparazzi   Bass Guitar
Jim White   Drums

Technical Credits

Jessie Mae Hemphill   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Joni Mitchell   Composer
Lee Clayton   Composer
John Kander   Composer
Bobby Byrd   Composer
Billie Holiday   Composer
Arthur Herzog   Composer
Spooner Oldham   Composer
Lloyd Stallworth   Composer
Fred Ebb   Composer
Chan Marshall   Composer
Eugene William   Composer

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Jukebox 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
OK, I know this is an album of covers, but can anyone point out a song she covers that actually sounds like the original song? She completely rewrites the songs into mellow, bluesy ballads that no one can do better. Seriously, who is better than Cat Power? Chan Marshall has the best voice and song writing ability out of all the current singer songwriters today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago