Cat got the cream CAT POWER
Now 10 albums into her career, Cat Power has been utterly, devastatingly consistent. Chan Marshall’s last record Sun was made in devastating circumstances.
The smoky, sullen singersongwriter came off a stinging breakup and gave us a big ol’ slice of her heart: “I’ve never known love like this, I’ve never known pain like this” she sang. It was a remarkable record, her Sea Change, her Blood On the Tracks. Hard one to follow up.
Wanderer is a careful, treadwarily-but-confidently return for Marshall. She produced it herself, effectively providing both sets of footprints in the sand as she came out of a tough time and found peace.
“I wanted to create something that was minimal in balance but would remind me that each song is not a message but a totem,” she said recently, nodding to her Cherokee roots.
Most songs place Marshall’s inimitable voice atop the totem pole, looking towards the sun so the shadows fall behind her.
The 1.14min opening title is a drum-less track that sets a tranquil scene, a mood that isn’t broken for 11 tracks of quietude.
In Your Face gets the train chugging along, You Get throws more coal in as the train steams along the tracks: “There’s nothing like tiiiime to tell you where you’ve been.”
She celebrates her postTomboy femininity on Woman feat. Lana Del Rey, an adroit collaboration that could be credited to The Greatest Raspers Alive.
Her progress is notable, Marshall became a mother after turning 40, gaining a companion that has clearly centred her on this astonishingly steady album.
Stay’s piano tinkles offset
Nothing Really Matters’ brief step back to the dark side. You can imagine Cat Power using this LP to lull her baby to sleep.
VERDICT Calm and in control, Chan shows off her soft power