Cat Power

It's easy to dismiss Cat Power's covers CD Jukebox as a lazy way for a label to deal with its artist's latest bout of writer's block. But Chan Marshall is known for stuffing her live shows with other people's songs and already has one Covers Record under her belt. Besides that, she can transform any tune into a soulful slab of delicate beauty. On Jukebox, she moves fluently between moody blues and smoky jazz, channeling Joni Mitchell's classic Blue the entire way. Aside from the curious opener, "New York, New York," the album is quintessential Sunday-morning coffee-sipping music. Highlights include the Highwaymen's "Silver Stallion" and Bob Dylan's "I Believe in You," which strips the horn-speckled R&B of 2006's The Greatest to its folkiest core. Two original compositions — "Metal Heart" and "Song to Bobby" — fit right into the set, reminding us that while Jukebox is a solid addition to the Cat Power catalogue, Marshall is at her best singing her own songs.


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