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Cat Power - Jukebox - Matador

On her new (mostly) cover song collection Jukebox, Chan Marshall (a.k.a. Cat Power) continues her tradition of cover songs and pretty convicted crooning. She's really an underrated vocalist, and this second collection of covers tells us a lot about what she is as an artist.

In my humble opinion, Jukebox's best track is one she wrote... the somewhat sinister track "Metal Heart." The other original – "Song To Bobby" – is also a great moment as she confesses a devotion to Bob Dylan that just may go beyond professional admiration. Speaking of Dylan, he gets the Chan cover treatment here ("I Believe In You") as does Hank Williams (the re-worked "Ramblin (Wo)Man"), Joni Mitchell ("Blue"), and the Frank Sinatra staple "New York." She especially does a great job on the bluesy stuff, and sounds utterly convincing on the country-tinged tunes as well.

In a musical world that all too often is compartmentalized beyond necessity, Marshall's new album sounds totally soulful and human. She draws inspiration from many quarters, and continues down a very interesting career path.

Written by Dan Reed

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