Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) has always been something of a heartbreaker, whether she’s trying her hand at country-tinged, whiskey-drenched blues or putting a haunting spin on old classics. For her ninth full-length Sun (out today on Matador), Marshall has gone electro—imagine Moon Pix’s “Cross Bones Style” with a bigger budget and without the minimalism. A thumping synth drives “Real Life,” a meditation on dissatisfaction that sounds almost Auto-Tuned. The album may be called Sun, but there’s not much light here. First single “Ruin” is a strangely catchy number about the world’s many ills, while the title track is a sinister, apocalyptic ode to our planet’s star. Songs like “3, 6, 9” and “Manhattan” retain a little of the Bob Dylan–inspired folk flavor heard on The Greatest and Jukebox, but a distorted electric guitar here or Chromatics-esque drumbeat there firmly places everything in the 21st century. You can probably still cry into your beer with Cat Power, but maybe you should put on your dancing shoes first.

Photo via Matador Records

Tagged in: Sun, music reviews, Chan Marshall, Cat Power   

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