1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat Power at their best!
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
3.0 out of 5 stars My thoughts...
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. AS always the lyrics are thoughful and powerful, and her voice is amazing. If you haven't heard Cat Power before I would recommend that you listen to some of the earlier albums like my personal favorite "What Would the Community...
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by J. Romualdo
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat Power at their best!,
By A Customer
This review is from: You Are Free (W/Dlxpk) (Audio CD)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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest,
This review is from: You Are Free (W/Dlxpk) (Audio CD)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 keys, that I feel compelled to stand in front of the onslaught. It's a protective urge, but I'm also singing along. This is, to me, the sort of music that begets a squeaky singalong as I trudge home from a long day. It reminds me of the emotions I can often cast aside; it reminds me of our interconnectivity.
Maybe it's my own depressive tendencies revealed, but I find more in her less catchy tunes. Songs like "Names" and "Good Woman" are breathtaking-simply because they are stark, simply because her voice cracks with the pain (and I don't believe it's an affectation). It's just really honest stuff.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Amazing Album,
By A Customer
This review is from: You Are Free (W/Dlxpk) (Audio CD)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. When I came across the song He War online, I knew I just had to have this album. I think every song on the album is wonderful. If I had to choose two favorites they would be He War and I Don't Blame. In my opinion, this album is a must have for music lovers everywhere.
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure and simple, Chan. You got to love her.,
This review is from: You Are Free (W/Dlxpk) (Audio CD)Chan Marshall is truly an American treasure. One can fantasize her sitting on the front porch, dreamy, strumming away her fleeting thoughts and authentic heartfelt tunes on a cheap guitar before she runs off to meet the 'dirty three' for a gig at the roadhouse. There is no pop hype and highly produced crap here. She is the real thing. If a person is looking for the industry formula like Janet Jackson, or the popular sound of Beth Orton (who she is often compared to), Cat Power will bore you to tears. But is you want the real thing, low budget reality, Chan Marshall is easy to love and respect as a REAL female musician who is a diamond in the rough.
'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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Elegant.,
This review is from: You Are Free (W/Dlxpk) (Audio CD)I first became aware of Cat Power music through an interesting woman I met on the internet. She suggested the "You Are Free" CD for the best listen. I looked it up, read a few rather mixed reviews and purchased the CD. It arrived on a Saturday afternoon; I played it that evening. I was feeling weary of the world, somewhat lonely and I was sitting in a dimly-lit room. A half bottle of reasonably good Merlot was by my side and my cat, JR, was napping on the coffee table. I can't think of a better setting in which to first hear this wonderful music.
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. I have trouble with the lyrics and I listen intently wondering what this wonderful lady is trying to tell me, but then Names cuts right to the bone. Marvelous presentation! So, what are my favorites? That's a difficult choice as they're all so outstanding. As I'm writing this I'd say Good Woman, Werewolf and Babydoll. Perhaps tomorrow it might be Maybe Not, Names and Half Of You. Maybe sometime else, some of the others.
Thank you Chan; It's a exquisite album.
5.0 out of 5 stars beyond brilliance,
This review is from: You Are Free (W/Dlxpk) (Audio CD)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.
'You Are Free' is crafty, melodic, layered, painful, beautiful & inspired. Its' quiet spaces give way to angry lamentations that manage to flow together seamlessly.
If you're into early PJ Harvey (esp. her demo work) the Cowboy Junkies 'Whites Off Earth Now' album, Edith Frost, or Patty Griffin's first album- then this is an absolute must!
Anyone who can sing, "turn out the lights, set yourself on fire, say goodnight," & make it sound sexy & like a piece of freedom, deserves attention.
Highly, Highly recommended!
4.0 out of 5 stars Meow,
This review is from: You Are Free (W/Dlxpk) (Audio CD)Folky good, I've got this in a nice low key playlist with some Ani Defranco, Sun Kil Moon / Mark K. and simialr. Most are easy on the ears folk stylings focusing on Chans vocals, there are a few stand out tracks that break the cycle. "Shaking Paper" is one of those, and its an increadible track, from the opening drone feedback of guitar and entrancing drums with vocals to match all the way through.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, A Good Cry,
This review is from: You Are Free (W/Dlxpk) (Audio CD)This is a great triumph over adversity and tragedy in life. A mostly mournful--rather than celebratory--acknowledgement of the fact of Freedom. Listening is like taking that deep breath and deciding to heal a lot of hurt you've been holding.
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD WOMAN,
This review is from: You Are Free (W/Dlxpk) (Audio CD)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 you". I really like "Shaking Paper" and "Free" as well. (basically most of the album) Those are the really excellent songs....there are a few less favorable but having those excellent songs is priceless. Her guitar riffs, piano keys and soft, extended cries go extremely well with D.G.'s drums. It's definately mellow for moody people like me. Her voice is so rich and earthy. She's the perfect friend to listen to and my fave woman-singer.
3.0 out of 5 stars My thoughts...,
This review is from: You Are Free (W/Dlxpk) (Audio CD)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. AS always the lyrics are thoughful and powerful, and her voice is amazing. If you haven't heard Cat Power before I would recommend that you listen to some of the earlier albums like my personal favorite "What Would the Community Think".
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