From the near-unrecognizable opening passage of “New York,” it is clear that Cat Power’s Jukebox isn’t your standard hit–spinner, a realization that only grows more intense over the course of 12 reinvented classics (and a five-song bonus-disc available with the Deluxe Package).
But Frank Sinatra is only the beginning. Chan Marshall approaches classics made famous by Hank Williams (“Ramblin’ (Wo)man,”) James Brown (“Lost Someone”) and Nick Cave (“Breathless”) with her dusky vocals and instrumentation that seems to flow just below a hazy night’s hum. But more impressive is the stature of two of Marshall’s own tracks – the reworked, ivory-fueled “Metal Heart” and the unreleased, rambling “Song to Bobby” – which both stand superbly among her interpretations of songs by modern music’s greatest artists.
Building upon the momentum of 2007’s The Greatest, Cat Power continues to impress with her innate ability to plant her sound deep in the heart of not only her original compositions, but the compositions of icons. Jukebox is better than the name suggests; it not only offers those much heralded tracks, it does so in ways they have never been heard.
Jukebox is out now on Matador Records.