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Liner Notes: CD Reviews

 published on Thursday, January 19, 2006

<strong>The Greatest</strong><br>
<em>Cat Power</em><br>
(Matador Records)<br>
Four out of Five stars/issues/arts/695317
The Greatest
Cat Power
(Matador Records)
Four out of Five stars
 
<strong>Book of Sand</strong><br>
<em>Tarantula AD</em><br>
(Kemado Records)<br>
Four out of Five stars/issues/arts/695317
Book of Sand
Tarantula AD
(Kemado Records)
Four out of Five stars
 

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The Greatest
Cat Power
(Matador Records)
Four out of Five stars

Chan Marshall, the woman more commonly referred to as Cat Power, has the ability to draw tears from even the most callous souls, using only her voice and a piano. Marshall's fifth album with Matador Records, titled The Greatest, is not a greatest hits album but rather 12 new tracks recorded in Memphis, Tenn. The Southern influence is evident on this album, with renowned blues and soul musicians playing the saxophone, harmonica and violin. Although not every song is melancholy the darkest, a haunting epithet of self-loathing, is aptly titled "Hate." The title track serves as a poignant opening and is one of the most moving tracks on the album. Marshall croons, "Once I wanted to be the greatest." If she only knew...

--- adriane.goetz@asu.edu

Book of Sand
Tarantula AD
(Kemado Records)
Four out of Five stars

Tarantula AD has a knack for blending varied instrumentation, warm production and sludgy metal riffing to create a spacey, richly textured vibe. At times the album is driving, and at others dream-like, almost ambient. Three of the songs on the album are part of "The Century Trilogy": "Conquest," "Empire," and "The Fall." Tracks two and three are titled "Who Took Berlin? (Parts I and II)." This suggests some kind of theme at work, and while the album flows very smoothly, I'm pretty clueless as to what it is. Despite using themes and having guest vocals from indie darlings like Sierra Cassidy (from CocoRosie) and Devendra Banhart, the album is an interesting and accessible piece of art. Good to do homework to.

-- benjamin.horowitz@asu.edu



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