Cat Power – Sun Cat Power – Sun

We haven’t heard from Cat Power in a while. The Greatest was playing in a continuous loop back in a sea of fun times in an ocean of fraught times called 2006.

Anytime I hear “Lived In Bars” I can still see the dust floating in the sunlight of my old dining room as my then-roommate (who I desperately wanted to live with after she let me sit on her lap while she played the fill to “Sharp Dressed Man” on her drums) had me in a headlock and was punching the back of my head for drinking her milk (beer).

So I was anticipating Sun, Chan Marshall’s first album in 6 years. That is, until I read a couple of interviews. She’s been “settled down” and trying to “grow” her “personal life” by being a “good wife and mother” to her boyfriend and his daughter in LA. She’s been on the wagon.

“Maybe she’ll have found her own unexpected hiding place in that slice of life, brought back some dark gems to put in her songs,” I thought.

The cover photo certainly looked like an employee ID taken after an all nighter in a coke minivan so, that was promising…

But no. Phoned in complacency. Malign acceptance. One song “Ruin” even remarks on how complaining isn’t gonna get us anywhere. Bleeeh.


You know that person who farted on one of the tables in your section and crashed at your house after work on New Years and didn’t leave till spring? The one who got caught talking shit on you and apologized by giving you a free 1/4 ounce of mushrooms? The person you went to the diner with and all the power went out and the whole place was dark for 3 minutes? When the lights went back on they were snorting a line of vicodin off the diner table?

You know when you run into that person years later and they are all grounded and well fed? Clean shirt. Stepford Sober. “Tradegy” by the Bee-Gee’s playing over the Trader Joe’s speakers as they tell you about their live-in-boyfriend or how deeply sorry they are about all that fun you guys had (drugs must erase the memories of any rent they skipped out on, though).

When the demons leave they grab an angel or two on the way out. And not exactly against the angel’s will, either.

The album has its moments- “Nothin But Time” with its ALWAYS WELCOME Iggy Pop backup vocals and her signature almost-too-naïve-to-say-outloud lyrics. Paired with the kind of piano that she played on the song about all the different kids getting molested or “I Don’t Blame You.” It’s pretty close to what I was looking for here.

In “Real Life” she lists a bunch of people trying to be something they aren’t (I met a doctor that wanted to be a dancer, I met a preacher who wanted to be sinner). She goes on to explain:

“Real Life is ordinary, sometimes you don’t wanna live, sometimes you gotta do what you don’t wanna do, to get away with an unordinary life”


No, Chan, not really. You have money. You can go wherever you want. You can meet all kinds of people. I mean, technically, we all CAN (in the Tony Robbins way) but you can do it, like, later this afternoon if you want.

“Sometimes you don’t want to live?” Yeah, no shit! That’s why I listen to music- to either WANT to live or to have one sense bumpin’ in the sense-dep chamber of the abyss.

You don’t wanna live? You gotta do what you don’t want to? God, I feel like I’m fucking catering. And this employee ID photo isn’t helping.

Maybe you’re a professional musician trying to be some dillweed’s house-step-girlfriend. I’m not saying you gotta go back to drunk dialing Kanye or whatever was going down before you cleaned up but, Christ. A little decorum!

Go spend some money, see the big scary world, get into something interesting for us ham and eggers.

We’ll act like Sun never happened. Delete it from our voicemail entirely.

Sun Tracklist:

01. Cherokee
02. Sun
03. Ruin
04. 3,6,9
05. Always on My Own
06. Real Life
07. Human Being
08. Manhattan
09. Silent Machine
10. Nothin But Time
11. Peace and Love

Cat Power - Sun, reviewed by Juliet Hope Wayne on 2012-09-14T06:00:29-07:00 rating 3.0 out of 5

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