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Cat Power Sun
Released 31 August 2012
Producer Cat Power
Label Matador Records
Length 49:13
Genre Indie rock
Website www.catpowermusic.com

I first came across the fabulous Cat Power, AKA Chan Marshall, a few years back when I heard her cover 'Sea Of Love' on the soundtrack to the 2007 movie Juno staring Ellen Page and Michael Cera. My wife had the CD on repeat for about six months and it was Cat Power’s stunning vocals that stood out for me. I since bought a copy of her 2006 album The Greatest which contained songs of a similar ilk to 'Sea of Love'. The album was very much about her voice, quite a jazzy affair.

Sun, Cat Power’s brand new album is a different animal altogether. This is very much more guitar orientated. There are a lot more synths and beats throughout too. The album opens with the gentle guitar sounds of 'Cherokee' over the catchy husky toned chorus, "Marry me, marry me to the sky, if I die before I my time, bury me upside down".

Lead single 'Ruin' is a piano led ballad with a great guitar lick in the chorus. '3, 6, 9' is probably the most immediately catchy - "3, 6, 9, you drink wine, monkey on your back, you feel just fine" sings Chan on the radio friendly chorus.

The middle section of the album features the more darker sounding tracks 'Always On My Own' and the bass and synth roll of 'Real Life' with its morbid lyrics, "real life is ordinary, sometimes you don’t want to live". The darker songs are cut short by another piano led track 'Manhattan' with its chirpy keyboards and Joy Division-ish drums sound.

It is definitely a case of saving the best until last. The final three tracks are the best on display here. 'Silent Machine' is the most guitar orientated song with a brilliant opening guitar riff. 'Nothin’ But Time' is a ten minute plus stunner which features the old, shaky croon of Iggy Pop on backing vocals. Just like her album The Greatest which finished with the best song on it 'Love & Communication' – Sun also finishes with the best track and my favourite here 'Peace and Love'.

This is a very fine album and by far the best Cat Power has released. Fingers crossed for an Irish tour date.

- Leon Byrne