courtesy of the artist
Cat Power's enervated misery is a perfect match for the 1967 Muscle Shoals hit "Dark End of the Street."
Over the course of the '00s, Cat Power (a.k.a. singer Chan Marshall) has charted a course from depressive alt-folk singer-songwriter to depressive soul interpreter. It's been a surprisingly easy fit: Marshall has issued several amazing covers discs, culminating in 2008's odd, remarkable Jukebox.
Dark End of the Street is an all-covers, vinyl- and digital-only EP composed of Jukebox leftovers. Its title track reworks the 1967 Muscle Shoals hit first made famous by Southern soul singer James Carr and ably re-interpreted by everyone from Linda Ronstadt to Afghan Whigs.
A dark tale of cheating lovers that's a chronicle of trouble foretold ("They're gonna find us someday"), it's a hard song to mess up. The best versions of this track have an air of enervated misery which Marshall, the human embodiment of enervated misery, nails completely. Slowed to a crawl, heavy on reverb and regret, her rendition is quavery and grim — a logier version than its creators must have intended, but somehow just right.
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