2008, Music

“Dark End of the Street” (2008) by Cat Power

I’m a sucker for (some of) Cat Power’s covers and this EP is no exception. I know two thirds of the songs here which probably helps. I will say I have never heard Jukebox and so maybe I’d like this less if I had heard that record. (This is a collection of outtakes from that album.)

“Dark End of the Street” is pretty faithful, perhaps a little more soulful than the (not original) version I’m familiar with…Oh, it turns out it’s actually a soul song that I know a country cover version of, so it might be even more faithful than I realize. But it’s well done.

For me, the highlight of the record is “Fortunate Son,” a complete reinterpretation of the song, something she does a lot and does pretty well. I’m not sure it 100% works with the lyrics but I don’t really care about that stuff, personally, when a song is revinvented like this and it sounds good. Here it’s more a lament than a cry of righteous anger.

I don’t know “Ye Auld Triangle” but I enjoy her performance of it. I suspect it’s pretty faithful. Though it has the same sedate feel as the rest of the album there is a lot of energy in this performance.

I will always prefer the original version of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” because it’s by my favourite soul singer. But I think this is a decent enough version.

Her version of “Who Knows Where the Times Goes” owes little to the version I know, which I really appreciate. It’s my second favourite cover here.

I don’t know “It Ain’t Fair” so I can only say that this seems fine but perhaps a little over-long.

This EP is weirdly controversial among her fans (on RYM anyway). People seem like they were mad at the time because she put out too many covers albums and EPs. This strikes me as really odd for two reasons. One, because he’s one of the great cover performers of her era. And two, because she had put out something like six albums of original material in the preceding 12 years, which is a very steady and normal pace for a singer-songwriter. But that’s the internet for you.

Lastly, I reject the idea that this could be a “singer-songwriter” record because, well, the songwriter isn’t singing and the singer isn’t the songwriter. I guess some people throw it in that genre because it sounds like other singer-songwriter records, specifically of hers. But it’s still weird.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.