Cat Power, aka Chan Marshall’s, versions of other people’s songs are ranked as highly as her own and are anything but a stopgap for new album Covers. Marshall gets to the heart of the songs she interprets, leaving the listener disinclined to make comparisons with the originals.
Covers opens with Marshall tackling Frank Ocean’s Bad Religion, which deals with prejudice within religion. Unhate follows, a retake of Marshall’s own Hate from mid-00s Cat Power album The Greatest: whilst Hate was filled with despair, this version is all about survival. Covers also include interpretations of songs by Iggy Pop, The Pogues and Nick Cave, ones Marshall has connected with throughout the highs and lows of her life.
As a whole, Covers seems to have a central theme of resilience that is delivered with a vocal beauty by Cat Power, who sounds totally uncontrived throughout – every word that she sings resonating deeply.
words DAVID NOBAKHT