album review::Cat Power:Jukebox

When I hear covers album, I have to say I don’t get excited. I typically rank them with greatest hits and anthologies. My philosophy is generally that if I want to hear the songs, I’d rather hear the originals. Whatever all that amounts to I’m not sure, but Cat Power has a new record coming out this month called Jukebox. No stranger to doing cover songs, Jukebox is a collection of Chan Marshalls‘ take on a collection of well selected covers, with the addition of a couple of her own tunes. There are some serious pieces here made famous(some more than others) by some epic heroes of the art, like Janis Joplin’s “Woman Left Lonely,” Joni Mitchell’s “Blue,” George Jackson’s “Aretha, Sing One For Me” and many more. What is obvious on Jukebox, is that along the way, Chan Marshall transcended her former status of lurking around the edges, to become a singer who is equipped with the soul and spirit to take on these pieces as equals. In the end, Jukebox is a natural successor to The Greatest. As far as covers albums go, this one is better than most, and more importantly it unfolds as an album that needed to be made, rather than being simply stuffing. I assure you there is no drudgery involved with listening. I don’t know if it is just Chan Marshall’s manner of exposing these pieces, or because the recording sounds so great, that makes Jukebox both charming and engaging.

Song To Bobby(live)

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