‘You Are Free’ is the sixth album by Atlanta, Georgia born Chan (pronounced ‘Shaun’) Marshall, also known as Cat Power. This album bristles with raw country guitars, sweet drawling vocals with a lulling grandeur. There is a theme of freedom running through many, if not all, of the songs on this album. Be it freedom from expectations, relationships or mindsets. The idea that you make your own luck and opportunities so you need to take responsibility for yourself and others also comes through strongly. ‘You Are Free’ lives up to the adage ‘Poetry To Music’.
Chan lulls, teases, and puts the listener on edge by turns. She mixes her powerful vocals with atmospheric strings, piano and southern style guitars for tracks like ‘Werewolf’ and ‘Good Woman’. For others, like ‘Free’ or ‘Speak For Me’ , Cat Power is more akin to the countrified indie rock of Tanya Donnelly. One particularly effective song, ‘Names’, is a very disturbing list of children?s names along their fates, all imposed on them by circumstance or adults.
I’ll leave the last word to Dave Grohl, from a piece in Rolling Stone; “The sound of her voice is a fucking lullaby, and it’s beautiful.”
Label : Matador
Release Date : 17 February 2003
Website : www.catpowermusic.com