Cat Power – Sun
Despite an at times tumultuous personal life, Chan Marshall’s output has always been driven by an assured, direct artistic vision; from the sultry Delta blues themed The Greatest, to the lo-fi purism of What Would the Community Think. Her latest outing is a somewhat less focused piece, which finds the chanteuse exploring new territory, though largely finding success in familiar places.
For whilst the racing piano loop and chant-along chorus of Ruin proves that Marshall can again successfully turn a new trick, tracks like 3, 6, 9 – a slice of Prozac-pumped pop – and the electro bounce of Silent Machine have the feel of an artist hiding behind a mask. It’s when the mood darkens that Sun finds its stride and starts to truly resonate, with curtain-opener Cherokee, Human Being and Always On My Own drawing strongly on the confessional beauty that made You Are Free such a cathartic thrill. Snatches of this material equals it.