CAT POWER

UNCUT - - New Al­bums - SHARON O’CON­NELL

Wan­derer DOMINO 8/10 Seren­ity and self-as­sur­ance on piano-heavy tenth

It didn’t en­tirely con­vince as a groove-pow­ered rein­ven­tion, but 2012’s Sun re­turned Chan Mar­shall her high­est Bill­board 200 spot (No 10). In hind­sight, it now reads like a cru­cial pause in a ca­reer de­fined by dev­as­tat­ingly frag­ile, folk­ish blues-rock, but although she’s drawn back to her heart­land here, Mar­shall’s now chart­ing a more cer­tain and calmly stream­lined course. With guests in­clud­ing Lana Del Rey (back­ing vo­cals on the righ­teous “Woman”), Jim White and Ju­dah Bauer, the set has both strength and a lean, lus­trous beauty, tap­ping Ca­role King-style clas­si­cism and Amer­i­can folk stan­dards, while pre­sent­ing Ri­hanna’s “Stay” as a hushed and haunt­ing piano bal­lad.

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