In her first full-length album in more than six years, Chan Marshall, the powerful drive behind Cat Power, has turned over a new leaf in a surprising transformation from her previous themes and sound to produce a brave and outstanding, new recording. “Sun,” out Tuesday, Sept. 4, is Marshall’s most upbeat album in her collection.
No critic has ever questioned Marshall’s ability to create desolate and emotional ballads. Within her 20-year career, she has never-until now-departed from her comfort zone where she has always been able to write emotional blues with only her guitar and transcendent voice and lyrics.
Marshall has broken new personal grounds with her most recent recordings, introducing layers of synth, drum machines and multiple layers of vocals as she still holds onto her talent within her previous singer/songwriter tunes reminiscent of coffee shop music samplers. “Sun” is bold; Marshall’s direction and choice in sound work very successfully in tracks such as “Ruin” and “3,6,9.”
With “Sun,” Marshall introduces herself into new territory amongst fellow artists in the current dance music scene. Only Marshall’s intelligence within her lyrics give her an edge over the rest.
“Sun” drops the ball on a few levels. Some of the tracks off the album seem overly processed. The many levels of sounds might leave enthusiasts disjointed, unable to make their way through the confusion of sound to Marshall’s beautiful and poetic lyrics. Overall, however, Marshall deserves great praise for her fearlessness and ability to delve into new territory. She challenges herself, completely producing the album on her own. Her curiosity paid off in “Sun,” a Cat Power album that deserves a spot in any music connoisseur’s library.