CAT POWER: You Are Free: CD

Jul 09, 2009

You Are Free, Cat Power's first album of new material in almost four years, shimmers with beautiful and fragile lyrics that dance over sparse instrumentation and simple, but-in-a-good-way, hooks. Tiny moments of strength and confidence are tackled by feelings of confusion and heartbreak. This is Chan Marshall; full of struggle, dazzling purity and seething bitterness. And for all of the mixed emotions her music stirs inside, it at least does that – it feels. It feels all inner conflict that we experience, but are too afraid to confront. On "Good Woman," her voice trembles, "I don't want to be a bad woman, and I can't stand to see you be a bad man." Creating music, even in it's most stripped-down form, she still has the power to make you ache. But You Are Free is more than just blue; it's spilling over with warm and fuzzy songs – practically stretching its arms around "Moon Pix" and giving it a great, big hug. The simplicity of "Free," soft rocking of "Speak for Me," and the "hey, hey, heys!" of "He War," conjure up the word, dare I say, pop. Not in a Blondie kinda way. Think more fucked-up. Like the devastating pop of The Velvet Underground. But I wouldn't kick back and enjoy the sunshine just yet. Just when you think you are free, Chan Marshall has a way of creeping back to haunt your head.  –kat (Matador)