Worth the wait: Cat Power – Sun

Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, released her latest album, Sun, yesterday. Naturally the entire world has gone mental for this, I mean we have been waiting for the last four years for a new album, and six years for some all-out original material. I just really love her, she can do no wrong (yes that’s the teenage obsession flooding back again), so I thought I’d let you all know how great she is.

First off, the album, how fucking good is that? Highlights include Manhattan, Nothing But Time, 3,6,9… well actually I don’t think there’s a single track that I’d skip on the entire album. Tell you what though, Nothing But Time is a cracker.

Weighing in at 10 minutes and 55 seconds, this track is a long long, but that’s good news. The thing fizzes with synthesisers and Iggy Pop appears in the middle, sort of dangling off of the two-chord melody. Oh, and it’s a tribute to David Bowie’s Heroes… if you don’t believe me, just listen to it. It’s the perfect response to Heroes, now, if we could just coax Bowie out of retirement, the two could do something very special. Chan did cover Space Oddity not so very long ago…

I also love Manhattan, I mean, I really love that track. I want to go there, I want to wander about wistfully, moping about how it all used to be… Ahh Chan, I’m so glad you’re back. Manhattan is a smooth twinkly track, it just sweeps along and then, seeing as this one isn’t 11 minutes long, demands to be put on repeat. It’s a great canvas for Chan’s grainy vocals and, as always, you can do nothing but listen. There’s something about her voice that just stops you dead and commands your attention and I don’t really know what it is but it’s a powerful skill to have.

Overall, Sun is a pretty light album for Chan, if you’ve listened to some of her darker recordings, you can see exactly how light. Sun is dripping with synthesisers choppy drum beats and some of Chan’s best vocals yet I reckon. As she always has chosen to do in the past, Chan made this record without a producer. It’s a great idea: a point-blank refusal to rely on anyone else creatively, she also learnt all the instruments on the album. The result: Six stars out of five.

In other news…

There is now a teaser video for album track Cherokee, which was released for free a couple of weeks ago. In the video, Chan appears to have blonde hair… the haircut we knew about, but it looks like she’s gone platinum before her album’s had the chance to…

So that’s the end of this particular ramble. I’m just very happy to have a new Cat Power album to listen to as I go about my life. Two days in and it’s already a soundtrack staple…

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