The Greatest [Slipcase Edition]by Cat Power
While it's not a best-of set -- or even a concept album about the life of Muhammad Ali (who does get name-checked on the title track, a boxing tale) -- this disc actually lives up to its title, given that it's easily the most powerful outing to date from the enigmatic Chan Marshall. Recorded in Memphis, The Greatest could be described, in shorthand, as Cat Power's soul album, but that's only part of the story. Employing Al Green's stalwart rhythm section -- and a passel of the town's better horn players -- adds a burnished, Hi Records feel to soul struts like the misty "Lived in Bars," but that's only one of the ways Marshall dips into the essential Memphis zeitgeist. Sounding far more assured than usual, she forays into the blues on the austere (and aptly titled) strummer "Hate" and even allows herself a moment of basking in the sunshine -- during "Love and Communication," an organ-tinged ditty that could've appeared on a lost Box Tops album. Marshall doesn't always manage to muster up the sort of swing that would truly drive these songs out of the park, but that's not a major hitch. In fact, it only underscores the vulnerability that keeps her devotees coming back for more.
- Release Date:
- Matador Records
Performance CreditsCat Power Primary Artist
Doug Easley Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar
Leroy Hodges Bass
Mabon "Teenie" Hodges Guitar
Jim Spake Saxophone
Scott Thompson Trumpet
Roy Brewer Violin
Rick Steff Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Chan Marshall Guitar,Piano,Vocals
David Smith Bass
Jonathan Kirkscey Cello
Beth Luscone Viola
Steve Potts Drums
Technical CreditsStuart Sikes Engineer
Chan Marshall Composer,String Arrangements
Harlan T. Bobo String Arrangements
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is by far her best album. You must buy it!
Absolutely, with a doubt Chan Marshall's (A.K.A. Cat Power's) greatest work. It's an amazing masterpiece.