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Cat Power

Jukebox

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Cat Power's voice is a thing of beauty. It's enigmatic and memorable, the equivalent of a slow drag on a cigarette. She seems to transform everything she sings into a wondrously dark musical noir. So what's wrong with Jukebox? Cat Power has some wonderfully unique takes on universal standards. She crafts a bluesy jazz interpretation of Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York," and she turns Joni Mitchell's folk classic "Blue" into a mysterious wisp of whispers and secrets. But the musical arrangements, played by the Dirty Delta Blues Band, blend into one another. The band's monochromatic, colorless performance suffocates Cat Power's breathy, evocative vocal stylings, and makes it easy to miss some of the album's better tracks, including George Jackson's "Aretha, Sing One for Me" and Cat Power's own "Metal Heart." Jukebox isn't bad, but it may be the first Cat Power album to suffer from a lack of personality. 3 stars.

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