- Cat Power: Chan Marshall (vocals, guitar).
- Personnel: Matt Sweeney (guitar).
- Recording information: Kampo studios, New York, NY (1998-1999); Night Owl (1998-1999); Rare Book Room (1998-1999).
- Unknown Contributor Role: Amaurdy.
- Cat Power's (Chan Marshall) disarmingly naive music hits you in the gut with its bare simplicity. Her hurt, vibrato-less tone is pure, velvety, and completely understated. In its simplicity, it seems to convey all the sadness of the world--like a leafless tree silhouetted against slate-gray sky heavy with rain clouds. Marshall accompanies herself on guitar, piano, or autoharp. Her arrangements are minimal--hypnotic, repetitive riffs with chords that barely change. When she hits a bass note, the impact is jarring. Cat Power's music is sleep with all its troubled dreams.
- On THE COVERS RECORD, Marshall explores the work of other songwriters. She deconstructs each song then reconstructs it as her own. Anyone familiar with Cat Power will be hard-pressed to tell the difference between these COVERS and Marshall's originals. "Satisfaction" is barely recognizable in its new, slowed-down version--the chorus is missing, and the lyrics take on Dylan-esque/surrealist proportions. Other covers include Velvet Underground's "I Found a Reason" and an autoharp setting of "Sea of Love." COVERS' retro/vintage, bare-boned, 21st century folk music puts you in mind of how such music must have been before the advent of recording, with songs changing form from one singer to the next.
Rolling Stone (4/13/00, p.124) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...A stopgap fix of her unnerving, coldblooded voice and shaky acoustic guitar. Chan Marshall covers her personal hit parade....wailing with terrifying power..."
Spin (4/00, p.194) - 7 out of 10 - "...Ah, rock repertory. How do you revive songs that have been branded into our heads?....Playing solo guitar, or autoharp, [Chan] Marshall paints herself by other people's numbers....The approach risks seeming hackneyed...but the surgical artistry is adroit..."
Entertainment Weekly (3/24/00, p.102) - "...an eclectic songbook....[Chan] Marshall takes wild liberties with lyrics and melodies, and dissolves indie-rock self-consciousness into fractured, heartrending folk-blues..." - Rating: B+
Alternative Press (5/00, p.80) - 3 out of 5 - "...definitely toys with notions of greatness and luminescence....she's her own best influence."
Magnet (6-7/00, p.71) - "...Those who love Chan Marshall's melancholic pacing and Southern Gothic aesthetic won't be disappointed....This is a one-woman show...just Marshall and her guitar or piano....This isn't a record for anyone seeking carbon copies."
The Wire (1/01, p.34) - Included in Wire's "50 Records Of The Year" .
CMJ (3/20/00, pp.23-4) - "...[Chan Marshall] crawls into the songs, curling up inside them, and feeling her way around their possibilities. Her voice cracks, stumbles and flutters before she finds a lighted corner, whereby she floats out a lush, strong phrase..."
Mojo (Publisher) (4/00, p.92) - "...Wondrous and here, backed only by guitar or piano, she inhabits other singer's material...with a fierce conviction that's often startling..."
NME (Magazine) (3/18/00, p.35) - 7 out of 10 - "...[Marshall] applies her minimalist approach to other people's songs....featuring some obscure material...[She] brings these songs successfully into her own, bleak domain..."