This album is really beautiful and a great follow-up to The Greatest, although Jukebox feels like a better balance between Chan's new and old musical styles, especially considering the 5 songs added on the bonus edition. Jukebox starts off slow and sultry, becomes increasingly more energetic, reaching a musical climax at 'Song to Bobby' and then slows down again. Although I enjoy the Dylan cover 'I Believe in You,' my favourite tracks are the ones with a brooding, melancholic, reflective quality that recalls Chan's older work (bonus song 'I Feel'); however, whereas albums such as Moon Pix and What Would the Community Think are more pared down and lonely, the slower songs on Jukebox feel warm, full and almost regenerative.
The first few songs, 'New York,' 'Ramblin' Woman' and 'Metal Heart (2008 version)' are definitely my favourites; they retain that new soul/blues sound in addition to the chill acoustic vibe of her older work that I love so much. This fusion of styles reveals Chan's musical development and show she is coming into a good creative place. 'Blue' is the best track of the whole album and a perfect conclusion.
My only problem with the bonus tracks is that they seem to break up the structure of a meticulously-compiled collection.
Let me also say that the amount of criticism Chan is taking for supposedly 'selling out' and being 'mainstream' is starting to really irritate me. Honestly, opinions of music should never be based on opinions of the musician...whether or not you agree with Chan's personal choices, if you enjoy the music, who cares? Listen to the album honestly and without prejudice. I think it is hypocritical and somewhat naive to reject a musician based purely on the fact that they have reached a moderate level of success. Just because you're not the only person listening to Cat Power, dwelling in your own angst and secretly rejoicing in how 'unique' you are, and how many obscure bands you know about, doesn't mean that Chan should have to suffer criticism for producing music that is persistently beautiful and moving.