Review: Cat Power, ‘Dark End of the Street’

Cat Power, ‘Dark End of the Street’: Aidin Vaziri | Cat Power’s “Jukebox” album, in which singer Chan Marshall sleepwalked her way through covers of songs by James Brown and Bob Dylan, was 12 shades of boring. So why would anyone want the six songs that were left on the cutting-room floor from the very same sessions? Because Marshall, an indie-rock singer who is almost as well known for her bad career decisions as for her music, typically has gotten it all wrong. The tracks on this EP are superior in every way to the ones that made it on the mother ship LP, each one seemingly tailor-made for her new heavy-lidded lounge singer guise. She casually blows all the bluster out of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” transforming it into an eerie gothic ballad. Aretha Franklin’s “It Ain’t Fair” gets a similar treatment, as Marshall strips the song down to its basic blues core with her lazy, calm voice. And then there is the disc’s centerpiece, a supremely restrained take on Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (to Stop Now)” that packs all the emotion of the original with only a fraction of the sweat.

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