Cat Power’s ninth studio album has been described as a ‘rebirth’ record, a hopeful message cut to wax that the troubled singer songwriter is overcoming the periods of deep depression that have so strongly affected her career. In doing so, she’s conjured up some of her finest work to date. Sun is an album of leftfield pop gems that are strongly in keeping with Marshall’s morbid lyrical style but cleverly juxtaposed against a distinctive sense of humour. Ruin serenades the listener with swirling piano before building up, kicking and screaming into an unashamedly catchy pop chorus laced with syncopation, heavy drums and dense harmonic layers. Unsurprisingly, personal reflection is a theme throughout, the best example being notable album highlight, eleven minute epic Nothin’ but Time, a note-to-self reflection featuring Iggy Pop, who croaks “You ain’t got nothin’ but time / and it ain’t got nothin’ on you / your world is just beginning … it’s up to you to be a superhero”. It’s a sense of optimism that ten years ago would be difficult to imagine being attributed to Marshall, but one that shines through the entire album like a solar flare.
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Words: Alex Hall