Published Oct 02, 2018Vocalist, songwriter and producer Chan Marshall, otherwise known as Cat Power, is back after a six-year hiatus with her new album, Wanderer. A veteran of conveying emotion through soothing, tender vocals, Marshall has gone back to her roots of writing more sombre tracks.
In her own fashion, Marshall covers Rihanna's 2012 hit "Stay"; velvety piano adaptation and haunting vocals really make it sound like a Cat Power song. It's raw and delicate, transforming every note into new variations of meaning. Collaborating with Lana Del Rey — an artist who has gathered inspiration from Marshall over the years — on "Woman," they produce a perfect harmonic balance.
In contrast, a drawback on the album, "Horizon" is a soft ballad that starts off as the smooth sound we know of Marshal; but quickly becomes heavily Auto-Tuned and very experimental. The bounce in the overproduced ending ruins the track, creating a rift in the progressive flow of the record. The tambourine heavy track "Robbin Hood" and the acoustic "Me Voy" quickly redeem the blunder of altering Marshall's voice.
After being out of the spotlight for years, Marshall hasn't lost her style. Producing Wanderer entirely on her own, you get the sense that she has ventured into new territory. Artists like Cat Power have all been wanderers at some point, but she is the one in control here. (Domino)