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Moon Pix

4.2 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 3 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B000009VOL
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #39,112 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. American Flag
2. He Turns Down
3. No Sense
4. Say
5. Metal Heart
6. Back Of Your Head
7. Moonshiner
8. You May Know Him
9. Colors And The Kids
10. Cross Bones Style
11. Peking Saint

Product Description

Product Description

The 1998 album featuring Chan Marshall backed by two-thirds of the Dirty Three (the two-thirds that don't play violin). A breathtakingly beautiful, hypnotic record. If Cat Power were Van Morrison, this would be her "Astral Weeks."


Singer Chan Marshall takes intimacy to a new level with the eerily lovely song cycle of Moon Pix. The narrative revolves around a nightmare figure who beckons toward a location that sounds rather like H-E-double hockey sticks. The starkness of this ghost story is mirrored in the austerity of the atmospheric music. Joined by Jim White and Mick Turner of the Australian slow-rock band the Dirty Three, Marshall uses spare guitar, flute, and piano arrangements to create the sounds of the last singer left on a postapocalyptic landscape. As Marshall sings in "Say," "If you're looking for something easy, you might as well give it up," and that lyric is the best description of this difficult and brilliant album. --Lois Maffeo

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EriKa on Oct. 15 2000
Format: Audio CD
A friend gave me this album after she had been to a Cat Power concert in Seattle... forewarning me that although it is stark and beautiful it also creates a warm, sleepy feeling.
She was right. I listened to it in the car driving with a friend from Vancouver, B.C. back to Seattle. And while the music resonated through the car and actually inspired me (good thing, since I was driving), my companion fell into a sound slumber). This music is like a slow lullaby OR gets into your soul and stirs you. For me, Moon Pix did the latter. I listened to it ceaselessly for a few weeks. My friend informed me that Cat Power was returning to Seattle. We attended the show, but the room being dizzyingly hot and crowded coupled with the disarmingly quiet one woman performance... making the whole experience memorably somniferous. We eventually had to go into the other room and listen from afar because it was too sleep inducing... (turned out to be a mistake since we met a weird Finnish man who had not showered in a month or so!)
Whatever the case, Chan Marshall's vocals are unusual and not always beautiful. They are stark and often sound like... reality. There is no other way I can think to describe it. There is an earthy, slightly raspy tone to her vocals, the lyrics are painful and intelligent... and overall, this is an album of such ambitious searching that you cannot help but love it.
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Format: Audio CD
When another music fan mentioned Cat Power in conjunction with Shannon Wright, I decided to give Cat Power a try. Wright's multi-instrumental prowess and rich, expressive voice were a marvel, and her Flightsafety was easily the best album of 1999.
As for Cat Power, all I can say is that it was a sore, sore disappointment.
Chan Marshall's voice is pretty, but never goes beyond that. She sings in a coo, usually accompanied by a single instrument (guitar or piano). The result? Recordings that are mostly in one tempo, and not enough diversity. Whereas Wright uses twisty melodies, lyrical poetry and moments of exhilarating strength to enrich even her slower songs, Marshall stubbornly sticks to the low-fi minimalistic approach and, quite frankly, induced sleep in me. Her lyrics are nothing to write home about, and the whole album is like a nice girl next door without anything really interesting to say -- sweet for a couple of minutes, but not nearly enough to sustain a whole album's running time.
For low-fi, intimate music with heart and brains, go for Julie Doiron's Loneliest in the Morning.
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Format: Audio CD
Apparently, Chan Marshall jumped on an opportunity to get her songs recorded, and I guess she had to use whatever musicians she could get in Australia. Her voice is beautiful and the songs are haunting, often with evocative melancholic lyrics. On the first few listens, I was bored by the minimalistic arrangements and preferred the songs with the Dirty Three sidemen. As I really listened, though, the best stuff is Chan solo with guitar or piano. The bass and flute on He Turns Down is also a good accompaniment to her voice. However, the Dirty Three guys are really lame players - especially the drummer, who cannot keep time in the slightest. They detract heavily from all of the songs they appear on, even Cross Bones Style which is the closest thing to a conventional rock song on this album. There are some great things on this album, but to me the highlight is Chan and her piano on Colors and the Kids. For some reason I don't think she'd appreciate this, but Chan's voice often reminds me of Beth Orton's, which is intended as a complement. This album is interesting, but I'd really like to hear her with some good musicians.
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Format: Audio CD
Sometimes you're happy and sad at once, and you need a record like this. It opens a space for all those moments when you're feeling kind of misty, not quite at home in yourself...and it lets you feel at home.
Chan Marshall (who is Cat Power) knows how to tap into that happy/sad vibe with such ease for someone so young. I'd been listening to Beth Orton for a while, enjoying the wide open spaces of her warm voice. Then I heard Chan. Maybe it's the sparse production on "Moon Pix", but somehow Chan's soul really shines through. She's got an achy, breaky voice that can turn a line like "Yellow hair, you are such a funny bear" (from "Colors and the Kids") into a deeply moving expression of love remembered. "Colors" may seem like "just a piano ballad," but it sneaks up on you with its intensity.
Opening track "American Flag" rocks the blues a little before moving into more hushed territory. The country-tinged "Moonshiner" is great for sobbing in your beer. The hopeful lyrics of "Cross Bones Style" keep you going when the chips are down ("Come on child, in a cross-bones style/You have seen some unbelievable things...").
"Moon Pix" is a soul-searching album crafted of much love, but without the heaviness that can accompany such an endeavor. It's loose, spare, bluesy; emotional, yet leaving room for your own. I love this album. I will never cease to need it by my side.
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By A Customer on Jan. 28 2000
Format: Audio CD
I was extremely sceptical to listen to this record. It was a suggestion from an ex-girfriend, and I really didn't want to like it. I reluctantly popped a copy of Moon Pix into my car stereo and gave it a shot. From the opening 'paul revere' drum loop to the last breath of chan marshall's voice, i was hooked. This record is simply one of the most honest and remarkable independent releases of the nineties. When I say honest, I mean it. There's an authenticity in miss marshall's music that can be found on very few records of the same musical nature. Moon Pix is not a stunning technological breakthrough, nor does it make any profound musical revelations; What it does do is allow the listener to be fully absorbed and entranced by probably one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. Honesty...let's explore this idea. Critics could (and do) write this record off as a girl trying too hard to 'sound' honest. What I don't understand is the reasoning these critics use. Here is a songwriter pouring her emotions into the public's ears with everything she can give, and its passed off as 'trying too hard'? Give me a break. That's exactly what makes this record so perfect. Chan's ability to craft these tunes with as much emotion as I've ever heard is not just unique in these musically apocalyptic times, but is so important. So 'boo-hoo' to you closed minded music fascists. Try writing a song with only two chords and make it as beautiful as a chopin piano concerto. This album made me second guess my leaving my ex... Man it has to be good!
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