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Editors’ Notes

Her live shows and albums can be remarkably spotty, but however primitive, awkward, or familiar some of Chan Marshall's music is, there's an undeniable genius behind her music project, Cat Power. The guitar-and-vocal delivery here is arresting and infinitely listenable, melding bleak folk with lo-fi punk and even chamber pop. Her weary vocals haunt the way Joni Mitchell's do, but the music here is more immediate, ess poetic. You Are Free isn't just some collection of simple ballads written by a sad-sack. Marshall is smart enough to cover Michael Hurley's disturbing "Werewolf" (it fits onto this album perfectly), and she peppers the album with just enough nervous energy to keep things exciting, especially on "Free" and "Shaking Paper.

Customer Reviews

Speak to me

This record helped me get through some of the lowest days of my early 20s, and will be there when I have bad days on my 30s and 40s. Timeless music that speaks to the sould. Her voice is pure and perfect for those days when your brain just needs to relax. Check out live sets if possible.

best cat power CD

If you can only get one cat power CD, this is the one. Free and Speak for Me are my favorite songs here.

A true modern classic.

To be brief, this along with OK Computer, Joshua Tree, Loveless, Nebraska and Sticky Fingers belongs on a desert island collection. A really remarkable album.


Born: January 21, 1972 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Penning songs that are offbeat in narrative, but literate and emotionally revealing, and performing them in a soulful, idiosyncratic style that reveals both strength and fragility, Cat Power was one of the most acclaimed singer/songwriters to emerge from the 1990s indie rock scene, a one of a kind artist unafraid...
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