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You Are Free
|Price:||CDN$ 18.68 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details|
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. I don't Blame You|
|3. Good Woman|
|4. Speak For Me|
|7. He War|
|8. Shaking Paper|
|9. Baby Doll|
|10. Maybe Not|
|12. Half Of You|
|13. Keep On Runnin'|
The first album in four years from Chan Marshall, one of the premier female singer-songwriters of our generation. Her richly complex vocal stylings and minor-key poetics have made her an indie superstar. This album, printed on recycled paper and recorded with renewable resources, explores the world of relationships and fame. Catchy, intense, and beguiling. "Her voice sounds liker her soul laid bare--arresting, beautiful and evocative"--Nylon.
Many artists strive for eccentricity, but few carry it off as convincingly as Chan "Cat Power" Marshall. Over the past few years, her gigs have become legendarily flaky, engrossing marathons of shyness, fragments, works in progress and moments of transcendent beauty. Five years on from her last collection of original songs (1998's Moon Pix), Marshall has finally managed to rein in the silvery brilliance of these shows.
The 14 pieces on You Are Freestill sound pretty loose and spontaneous, but compared with their rangy, digressive live incarnations they've been pulled into focus, helped by a notable supporting cast featuring Dave Grohl on drums and Eddie Vedder on harmonies. This time, Marshall's impressionistic vision is expressed with a new clarity whilst retaining the understatement and sense of dislocation that's always made it so affecting. Comparisons are sketchy: Marshall has previously been seen as kin to Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Smog. Here, though, the elegant punch of "Free" and "He War" provide an American underground counterpart to PJ Harvey, while two outstanding piano blues ("I Don't Blame You" and "Names") are wonderfully evocative of Ni! na Simone. Confirmation, finally, that Marshall is one of the most original and compelling singer-songwriters around. --John Mulvey
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Top Customer Reviews
'You Are Free' is a sweet transition from her past. She seems to have isolated the best moods of 'What Would The Community Think' with the metronome mantra of 'Moon Pix' and settled with her signature sound, in spite of her strange behavior as a live performer. All cuts on 'You Are Free' are exclusively Chan Marshall. When you first hear 'He War' you will ask yourself "have I ever heard anything like this before?" Your final answer will be "No". Dave Grohl's influence on 'Speak For Me' is conspicuous. I truly hope they work together on her next album. 'I Don't Blame You', 'Good Woman' and 'Fool' epitomise the lone Chan. Michael Hurley should be blushing to hear his ol tune 'Werewolf' swaggered by Chan. Last but not least, Is she giving Eddie Vetter a singing lesson on 'Evolution'?
I will support Chan/ Cat Power through her career. This is american music...pure and simple...without the frills.
Cat Power is basically Chan Marshall, who accompanies herself on guitar and piano, plus a small assortment of supporting musicians. Every song on the CD is excellent but I have strong preferences for some. On four of the tracks (Free, Speak for Me, He War and Shaking Paper) Chan is accompanied by a small band and on one track (Evolution) she sings a duet with a very subdued and backgroundish Eddie Vedder. All are first rate and provide variety. The real strength of the album, however, lies with the other nine tracks (I Don't Blame You, Good Woman, Werewolf, Fool, Babydoll, Maybe Not, Names, Half of You and Keep on Runnin'). Here Chan functions essentially as a soloist singing and playing piano or guitar. It might be easy to criticize her as a vocalist, instrumentalist or writer as the music is so simple. However, the melodic combination she presents provides a presence so strong that it feels as if you have a cherished friend in the room playing some wonderful songs just for you. Add to this a masterly arrangment that lightly and elegantly blends little touches of electric guitar, cello, violin and voices and gives a music of astonishing charm, beauty and depth.Read more ›
Overall the songs are slow and comtemplative, with a few somewhat-upbeat rock moments ("Free", "Good For Me", "He-War".) Chan Marshall pairs her clear sad voice with piano, or accoustic guitar, or electric guitar, on different songs. Guests include David Grohl and Eddie Vedder.
The album opens with "I don't blame you", such a simple and beautiful song. It rings so true as a classic, you wonder as you listen how it could never have been sung before now. "Free" is a fun pop-rock venture introducing the word 'free' that will be echoed throughout the album in other pieces. "Werewolf" (a cover of Michael Hurley 70's acid-folk song) moves almost like a dirge, like a cloud in the sky languidly uncovering a full-moon that we know will transform us into animal. "Names" moves like a reading of names of holocaust victims, only here it recounts the stories of preteens molested or surviving only through prostitution. Yet there is no pity, instead more an stoic depiction of reality for some.
Every song has its strength, whether depicting a painful or fragile personal weakness, or a leap of faith to heal, or an account of abuse.
But actually, for all its primitivism, the music isn't all that bad. The real problem is that Marshall is a really erratic songwriter. On one hand, "I Don't Blame You" is a perfect, emotionally complex song, addressed to some nameless angry musician (probably Marshall herself). On the other hand, there's "Maybe Not," which explains to us that "we can _all_ be free...maybe not in words, maybe not in look, but with your mind." Oh, come on, does she even believe that? Other times, the songs just don't make sense - "Fool" is supposedly a rumination on the American lifestyle, but is too oblique for one to get any real insight out of it. When the music is as simple as it is, and the focus is on the singing and lyrics, this sort of thing can be a problem. And then there's "Names," an extremely, uh, _direct_ narrative about the various mishaps that befell Chan's childhood friends, all involving sexual abuse. On first listen, it's a petrifying tale. Afterwards, the very artlessness and uniformity of the stories kind of lead one to doubt them, mean as that might be. Still, real or not, it certainly gets one's attention.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
When I hear Chan Marshall's voice, I want to both shield her and rock out. She carries this incredible frailty in her voice, in the tentative strokes of her fingers on strings or... Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by Jenny Rose Ryan
This album is truly amazing. I can listen to it over and over again without ever getting bored. Up until last week, I had never even heard of Cat Power. Read morePublished on April 17 2004
Chan Marshall has finally managed to combine the soft coziness of 'Moon Pix' with the raw emotion of 'What Will The Community Think', & the result is unbelievable lovely. Read morePublished on March 19 2004 by lady detective
Folky good, I've got this in a nice low key playlist with some Ani Defranco, Sun Kil Moon / Mark K. and simialr. Read morePublished on March 18 2004 by Jellybones
I don't usually buy CDs but I had to get this album. It's my first one of Cat Power. Fell in love with "He War" (she raps), "Maybe Not" and "I don't blame... Read morePublished on March 5 2004 by J. Kim
I've been a Cat Power fan since the begining this is by far her best work. If you like this album try What Would the Community Think.Published on March 5 2004
I like this album but I don't think it is the best Cat Power album out there. I definintly think that Free is an awesome song. Read morePublished on Feb. 29 2004 by J. Romualdo
Cat Power is a pleasant surprise in my life - musically speaking... I was staying the weekend at an SO of mine and he had this cd of hers... Read morePublished on Dec 29 2003