Following the success of 2006’s The Greatest, Cat Power (Chan Marshall) has elevated her game to the upper echelon of indie chanteuses with sex appeal alongside the likes of Feist, Jenny Lewis and Neko Case. With such a bright fortune, you’d think Marshall would delve into the green light for another batch of originals. But instead there’s Jukebox” her second covers album in eight years, following 2000’s The Covers Record.  It can be argued that Marshall’s too talented a singer-songwriter to lean on other’s work, (Jukebox does features two Marshall originals) instead she actually accomplishes the next best thing – a cover album that sounds almost completely original.

Backed by The Dirty Delta Blues Band, the old standard “New York” is so reconfigured, even  “start spreading the news”  sounds foreign. The sparse “Silver Stallion" (originally recorded by country super-group The Highwaymen), gives Jukebox a break from the over- the-top smoky aura. George Jackson’s “Aretha, Sing One For Me” further escapes the breathiness platform of the early songs for a groovy Memphis twist , while Bob Dylan’s “I Believe In You,” almost destroys the original with its dirty revamp. 

While Marshall can ad sultry to even the most traditional (“Lord, Help The Poor & Needy”), sometimes its that seductiveness that makes Jukebox rather tame (“Song To Bobby”).   The final song, Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” captures the essence of Jukebox: sultry, soft and emotionally fatigued. But predictable is one thing this record is not, as Marshall makes this “covers” Jukebox her very own.

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