11 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

No one is better than Chan Marshall at understanding how less can be more. The most indelible moments of her discography are those in which there is precious little getting between her voice and your ears. Her 10th Cat Power album—and first since leaving Matador, the label she was on for most of her career—is built around the idea of sparseness as strength. Following the relative sonic busy-ness of 2012's Sun, Wanderer returns to the tested formula of Marshall singing over a couple of metronomic piano or guitar chords, maybe the occasional drum. (She marked the 20th anniversary of 1998's haunted, career-making masterpiece Moon Pix with a commemorative show in Sydney months before Wanderer's release, and it turned out to be a clue as to where she was at now.) Songs like “Horizon” and “Nothing Really Matters” and the cover of Rihanna's “Stay”—all of them, really—aim to lull, so you have no choice but to lean forward and take in every curled syllable.

EDITORS’ NOTES

No one is better than Chan Marshall at understanding how less can be more. The most indelible moments of her discography are those in which there is precious little getting between her voice and your ears. Her 10th Cat Power album—and first since leaving Matador, the label she was on for most of her career—is built around the idea of sparseness as strength. Following the relative sonic busy-ness of 2012's Sun, Wanderer returns to the tested formula of Marshall singing over a couple of metronomic piano or guitar chords, maybe the occasional drum. (She marked the 20th anniversary of 1998's haunted, career-making masterpiece Moon Pix with a commemorative show in Sydney months before Wanderer's release, and it turned out to be a clue as to where she was at now.) Songs like “Horizon” and “Nothing Really Matters” and the cover of Rihanna's “Stay”—all of them, really—aim to lull, so you have no choice but to lean forward and take in every curled syllable.

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