12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Many scribes have tagged The Greatest as a return to Marshall’s Southern roots, since it was recorded in Tennessee with the employ of the Memphis Rhythm Band, some of the greatest soul musicians ever. And though these songs pulse and glow warmly with a classic and rootsy luster, it all still sounds like Cat Power (albeit more sunny and optimistic than her preceding works) because Marshall’s magically breathy voice — the one that has inspired Feist and countless others — stands center stage throughout. The title track opens with a countrypolitan elegance that falls into the shadows of Marshall’s enchanting confessional. If anyone else sang over the timeless tones of “Could We” it would sound like Amy Winehouse, but Marshall layers two of her own vocals – one low and one high – birthing a third harmonic overtone that inadvertently upstages everything else. Though she doesn’t take on any cover songs here, the bookending “Love & Communication” makes up for it by resonating with the familiar sound of a vintage record collection.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Many scribes have tagged The Greatest as a return to Marshall’s Southern roots, since it was recorded in Tennessee with the employ of the Memphis Rhythm Band, some of the greatest soul musicians ever. And though these songs pulse and glow warmly with a classic and rootsy luster, it all still sounds like Cat Power (albeit more sunny and optimistic than her preceding works) because Marshall’s magically breathy voice — the one that has inspired Feist and countless others — stands center stage throughout. The title track opens with a countrypolitan elegance that falls into the shadows of Marshall’s enchanting confessional. If anyone else sang over the timeless tones of “Could We” it would sound like Amy Winehouse, but Marshall layers two of her own vocals – one low and one high – birthing a third harmonic overtone that inadvertently upstages everything else. Though she doesn’t take on any cover songs here, the bookending “Love & Communication” makes up for it by resonating with the familiar sound of a vintage record collection.

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