Cat Power – “Ruin”

on June 26, 2012


Chan Marshall got a haircut. Of course, Marshall being Marshall, that’s not the only thing that’s changed. In 2006, shortly after recording The Greatest, the Atlanta-born singer-songwriter checked into rehab and reinvented herself, finding new life in the spiritual cleansing of soul. It worked for a while, and then it didn’t — 2008 covers record Jukebox arrived and left with little notice. Marshall was stuck; singing other people’s songs, weighed down by the very music that once freed her.

That was four years ago. Sun (out Sept. 4 via Matador) may be Marshall’s ninth outing as Cat Power, but she’s never sounded so youthful. Marshall, who turned 40 this year, can be seen shaking up a can of spray paint and grinning — yes, grinning — in the promotional video for her new LP. “Ruin” is a refreshing cucumber facelift of twirling piano and peppy guitar, strutting about with confidence, levity and power. Which, are probably the last three words anyone would expect to find in a sentence about Cat Power. Reinvention, indeed.