Review | Cat Power – Sun
by Ryan Doyon, a music loving, world traveling, beer drinking, hockey fanatic. If you're in a band then he wants to know about it.
It has been six years since Chan Marshall released The Greatest, her last album of original material, and 4 years since the release of her covers album Jukebox. Needless to say the songstress takes her time crafting her songs. However, the wait is finally over this week with the release of the highly anticipated new Cat Power album titled Sun.
The opening track on Sun is the gorgeous “Cherokee” which incorporates Chan’s distinctive duel-vocal track recording laid over an infectious drumbeat. The type of sound runs through the entire album, welcoming old fans back and introducing new listeners to Cat Power’s power as a musician. She sings “If I die before my time/Bury me upside down/Cherokee kiss me/While I’m going down.” To be buried upside down is a symbolic form of punishment to atone for sins made while alive. A commanding lyric for a commanding song about redemption. That redemption continues in the album’s second song, the title-track “Sun,” where we find the singer waiting for the return of the sun and the start of a new day that has been a long time coming. Further into Sun comes the short, yet not so sweet, “Real Life,” which shifts into electro-rock territory to explore what it takes to escape a perceived ordinary life. The nearly 11-minute ode to being a kid “Nuthin But Time” pays homage to David Bowie’s “Heroes” and features guest lyrics from the one and only Iggy Pop. Sun closes strongly in a chorus of Nah-Nah-Nah’s as “Peace And Love” hits you with a funky tribal beat and brings out Cat Power’s innermost rapper/pop-diva, highlighting her broad spectrum of musical styles and bringing to an end a stunning new album.
The personal issues that have plagued Chan Marshall’s life are no mystery to her fan base and have been present in her work from the very beginning. It takes a strong artist to overcome such obstacles and release record after record of inspiring, soul-searching music. The release of Sun is another perfect collection of heartbreak and recovery.