Cat Power - Dark End of the Street EP Review (Matador) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cat Power - Dark End of the Street EP Review (Matador)

Cat Power - Dark End of the Street EP Review (Matador Records)2008 was an interesting year for Cat Power as Chan Marshall bookended the year with albums of cover tunes. Jukebox was released in January of 2008 and it featured 10 covers songs, which were predominately made up of classic folk and country tunes. Some of the artists covered on Jukebox include Bob Dylan, Hank Williams and Joni Mitchell.

Dark End of the Street was recorded during the sessions for Jukebox but, this time, Chan covers some classic Muscle Shoals style soul. The six-song EP is bookended by a pair of tunes originally made popular by Aretha Franklin ("Dark End of the Street" and "It Ain't Fair") and the disc also includes an Otis Redding cover ("I've Been Loving You Too Long"). All of the songs are recorded with the Dirty Delta Blues band who give these songs a swirling soul sound. Chan's vocal delivery is very similar to that on Jukebox - while her vocals don't rise and fall with the build in the music, Chan's world-weary bluesy singing present a unique reinterpretation of many of these songs.

One of the more interesting reinterpretations is CCR's "Fortunate Son". While this version doesn't have John Fogerty's driving guitar lines, Chan's passionate vocals drive the song through what could be mistaken for a Velvet Underground backing track.

Here is a live performance of "It Ain't Fair":

On Matador Records blog, Gerald Cosloy posted: "Chan has not retired from writing or recording her own material. We’re pretty confident her next full length album wllll either be all originals or about 90% in that direction…"

Cat Power is playing two nights at the Apollo Theater next month. The shows are February 6th and 7th and tickets are $36.00.

Cat Power