February 01, 2008

I WANNA WAKE UP IN A CITY THAT NEVER SHOVELS

I'm not yet to the bottom of my coffee, so forgive if this doesn't parse proper:
Jukebox is the most fully realized Cat Power work in some time I think--even her best early work (MoonPix) was the bloodletting of a heavy mood (righteously and convincingly, mind you). I know everyone lost their shit over The Greatest, as if it was her fullfulling her rightful place as a daughter of the south, but for all it's shorthanded "warmth", the shit was frosty, sterile, rote and remote--it felt like some sort of formal exercise--the ultimate show that she could pull it together, that she could go big and not crawl from the stage weeping. Jukebox sounds like an album born of the grand endeavor that came before it--she's working with an assurance that she'd only ever been fitted for. It's rude and not quite the point to say that she's finely grown into her talent, more like she's fucking repo'd it. The distance between the originals and her revision is filled with real swagger--she keeps pace with all that is implied when Judah Bauer juts those Keith-chords. There is no repentance or apology behind her power. The review in The Independent nailed it with something like "her take of "New York" removes the vision of a sweaty, porcine Sinatra from your head"--the original was all brassy smiles and it was too easy to imagine someone swingin' round a lamppost announcing their giddiness and dumb wonder to the sky. Chans is gee-whiz free-- all sinew and FTW--sounding like someone who knows exactly what New York can do to a girl, confident she can handle whatever is coming her way.

Posted by Jessica at February 1, 2008 12:20 PM | TrackBack