12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Many scribes have tagged The Greatest as a return to Marshall’s Southern roots, since it was recorded in Tennessee with the employ of the Memphis Rhythm Band, some of the greatest soul musicians ever. And though these songs pulse and glow warmly with a classic and rootsy luster, it all still sounds like Cat Power (albeit more sunny and optimistic than her preceding works) because Marshall’s magically breathy voice — the one that has inspired Feist and countless others — stands center stage throughout. The title track opens with a countrypolitan elegance that falls into the shadows of Marshall’s enchanting confessional. If anyone else sang over the timeless tones of “Could We” it would sound like Amy Winehouse, but Marshall layers two of her own vocals – one low and one high – birthing a third harmonic overtone that inadvertently upstages everything else. Though she doesn’t take on any cover songs here, the bookending “Love & Communication” makes up for it by resonating with the familiar sound of a vintage record collection.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Many scribes have tagged The Greatest as a return to Marshall’s Southern roots, since it was recorded in Tennessee with the employ of the Memphis Rhythm Band, some of the greatest soul musicians ever. And though these songs pulse and glow warmly with a classic and rootsy luster, it all still sounds like Cat Power (albeit more sunny and optimistic than her preceding works) because Marshall’s magically breathy voice — the one that has inspired Feist and countless others — stands center stage throughout. The title track opens with a countrypolitan elegance that falls into the shadows of Marshall’s enchanting confessional. If anyone else sang over the timeless tones of “Could We” it would sound like Amy Winehouse, but Marshall layers two of her own vocals – one low and one high – birthing a third harmonic overtone that inadvertently upstages everything else. Though she doesn’t take on any cover songs here, the bookending “Love & Communication” makes up for it by resonating with the familiar sound of a vintage record collection.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
131 Ratings

131 Ratings

peggyb01 ,

THE GREATEST!!!

I just recently discovered Cat Power, I actually find it hard to believe that I hadn't heard of her sooner, her talent is endless and it shows on this cd how much she has grown. I started with You Are Free and then worked my way to her latest (The Greatest) after listening to this record many times I concluded that The Greatest was my favorite and then Love & Communication. The guitar work in the beginning is really what makes the song for me. I give honorable mentions to Lived in Bars and The Moon. I definately reccomend that you buy this album and if not this one then look up "You Are Free" and "Her Covers Album". She also has "What Would The Community Think" I reccomend buying any of those and trust me you will not regret it.

StageHymns ,

Hurray for Re-Issues!!!

This is a re-issue of the album, just so everyone knows. It has no new material on it, and is intended simply to extend the shelf life of the album for people who have not yet discovered Chan's incredible talent.

That being said, this is a wonderful album, featuring songs with more production than many of the more recent Cat Power albums. Don't let "true fans" fool you into thinking that she's "sold out" on this album by making the sound larger (more instruments, etc). While most of her songs are much more stripped down (see "Hate") than some of the songs on this album ("Living Proof"), keep in mind that Chan's first album had plenty of "noise" on it. She's not selling out by changing her sound up a bit. She's still on Matador Records like she has been for years. This album has a lot of meanign for Chan because it deals quite a bit with her fairly recent sobriety.

Now when she performs the song "Hate" she says, "I don't hate myself and I don't want to die" instead of the more morbid original.

I highly reccommendthe album, but specifically Love & Communication, Hate, Willie, Lived in Bars, and Living Proof.

musical authority ,

don't sleep on it

the review above by itunes says "mellow to sleepy" in reference to the song "Willie", but to me it's the strongest song on the album- i just wanted to write that so people would know. don't always put your faith in the itunes reviews...

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