Cat Power, 'Dark End of the Street' (Matador)

6
Dark End of the Street
Critical Mass
Label: Matador

by David Bevan

Less than a year after her second, patchier collection of covers, Jukebox, ChanMarshall offers six slow-dancing holdovers from that album's recording sessions. While her take on Creedence's political burner "Fortunate Son" falters listlessly, the Georgia smoke bomb pays homage to soul heavyweights Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin with more success. Still, her vamping can't touch their steamy-windowed originals -- warm stabs at Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" and James Carr's title track, though sumptuously arranged, work more because of Marshall's bluesy band than her bedtime croon.

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