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April 7, 2008 | by  | in Music |
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Album Review – Cat Power – Jukebox

Interpreting the work of musical heavyweights such as Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and James Brown is by no means an easy feat especially when one considers how controversial renditions of old time favourites can be these days. Interpretations tend to have only two possibilities it seems, at least in the eyes of critics; they’re either disastrous or delightful. Thankfully, Cat Power veers toward the latter of these two outcomes on her latest release Jukebox.

With her ethereal yet self-assured vocals, Chan Marshall a.k.a. Cat Power and her more-than-capable band weave their way around the works of their prestigious predecessors admirably. The unique interpretations of the tracks compliment their original writers fantastically as Marshall and the band take the songs further, capitalising on any potential left unexplored by those who wrote them.

In its generous duration of 47 minutes, the album seduces the listener as each track dances on the sub conscience with considerable splendour, and for this reason one could be excused for prolonged periods of daydreaming throughout. Whilst every track on the album stands out, particular mention must go to the interpretations of Hank Williams’ “Ramblin’ (Wo)man”, Bob Dylan’s “I Believe in You” and Billie Holiday’s “Don’t Explain”. Cat Power has successfully raised the benchmark in the area of interpretation with Jukebox and, in doing so, not only propels her own status but also reinforces the work of her legendary musical ancestors.


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