SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on February 20, 2006 at 1:35 pm

Note: This is a brand new studio album of original material, not a “best of” as the title might suggest.
Also Note: Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) is joined by an all-star cast of veteran Memphis musicians, including Al Green’s guitarist and songwriting partner Teenie Hodges and latter day Booker T. and the MG’s drummer Steve Potts.
Sound: Her breathy, southern drawl and disturbed heart and soul always sound like they’re on the verge of collapse, but this accomplished backup band props and perks her up with a slow-to-mid-tempo, barroom-standards sound that dabbles in soul, funk and alternative country. However, midway through the starker side of Cat Power begins to win out, culminating in the completely stripped down and tortured “Hate,” the album’s best and harshest track. But the finale “Love and Communication” rallies with a full-band sound and a glimmer of hope.
Heavy Rotation tracks:Hateicon“; “Lived In Barsicon
Medium Rotation tracks:Love & Communicationicon“; “Living Prooficon“; “Could Weicon
Recommended: This classier, timeless sound should be a welcome experiment for Cat Power diehards, while attracting new fans that may have been turned off by her sparer sounds of old. Unfortunately there’s a momentum-killing lull in the middle (tracks 6-8) that keeps this album from realizing its full potential.
Grade: B

(As posted 2/20/06 on davepowersmusic.com)
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