Covers Record

The Covers Record

4.6 5
by Cat Power
     
 

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In her cover of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," Cat Power's Chan Marshall never even sings the title's complaint, making the spare acoustic rendition an apt opening track to an album where she doesn't just cover songs by the Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, Moby Grape, and others…  See more details below

Overview

In her cover of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," Cat Power's Chan Marshall never even sings the title's complaint, making the spare acoustic rendition an apt opening track to an album where she doesn't just cover songs by the Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, Moby Grape, and others, she reinvents them. In her inimitable style, Marshall turns each tune into a haunting new being, inhabited only by her quavering voice and either a gently played guitar or piano. She breaks down each melody to its most essential ingredients, often using her accompanying instrument to lay down only guidepost chords while her voice negotiates the territory between. Other songs here were natural choices for Marshall. Smog's "Red Apples" already sounded like a Cat Power tune when Bill Callahan did the original version, and Marshall slips into Nina Simone's somber torch song "Wild Is the Wind" like an old shoe. And then there's "In This Hole," which is originally from Marshall's own WHAT WOULD THE COMMUNITY THINK. As she revisits the tune and turns it even gloomier, Marshall proves that even the subtlest of alterations can make a song sound brand-new. It is those subtleties that make THE COVERS RECORD a joy, and it makes us hope she's got more than covers waiting in the wings.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
On the The Covers Record, Chan Marshall continues her evolution into a remarkably expressive interpreter of songs; her earlier covers of Pavement's "We Dance" and Smog's "Bathysphere" are among her most distinctive performances. This collection includes songs originally by Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Velvet Underground, Moby Grape, Michael Hurley, and Anonymous. Marshall's sparest album yet, The Covers Record uses guitar and piano as the only foils for her malleable, emotional voice. These tools are more than enough to turn the Stones' anthem "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" into a bluesy, slinky version emphasizing the song's tension and frustration as much as its jaded sexiness, and "Kingston Town" from a reggae standard into a hymnal reflection. Marshall's gentle version of Hurley's "Sweedeedee" and plaintive reading of the Velvets' "I Found a Reason" recall the quietest, most spiritual moments from Moon Pix. This culminates on the cover of her own "In This Hole" from What Would the Community Think; one of the most drastic revisions, its soft pianos and serene vocals replace the original's turbulent anguish, reflecting her changing musical path. Marshall explores many emotional directions, from her yearning version of Moby Grape's "Naked If I Want To" to her brooding sensuality on "Wild Is the Wind," to her down-home optimism on Bob Dylan's "Paths of Victory." "Salty Dog"'s lilting melody and humorous lyrics bring out Marshall's Georgia twang, while her version of Smog's "Red Apples" shows off her voice's sensual lows and keening highs. The joyous cover of "Sea of Love" (originally by Phil Phillips) brings this accomplished, heartfelt Covers Record to a very happy end.
Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
The Covers Record provides a stopgap fix of her unnerving, coldblooded voice and shaky acoustic guitar.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/21/2000
Label:
Matador Records
UPC:
0744861042624
catalogNumber:
10426
Rank:
51220

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The Covers Record 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone who has seen Cat Power live knows these covers are fantastic. Chan Marshsall makes these songs her own. Her soft, sweet voice mixed with simple guitar or piano accompaniment, makes the songs seem both new and yet hauntingly familar.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for soul, then look no further. Chan Marshall scrapes the bottom of her heart to dredge through the darker side of emotion. Crossing the razor blade thin border between obsession and devotion, her vocals resonate like a ghost whispering in a haunted house. Some of the brighter songs sound like Moe Tucker of the Velvets fumbling around in the dark looking for the light switch with a pinata stick. A true work of high art and american folk.
MonyTj More than 1 year ago
She've done great arrangments to this songs. She made them their own, and they sound great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago