Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Dell XPS 13 (9370) vs Dell XPS 13 (9380)

Can Dell make its XPS 13 laptop any better? Well it's tried with a new 2019 model so we compare the two and explain what has and hasn't changed.
Should I Buy The Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018) Or Dell XPS 13 (2019)?
There’s a new XPS 13 in town but you’ll struggle to justify the upgrade from 2018’s model with namely a new webcam as a headline upgrade.
Sure, there are other upgrades to the the core specs but for most people, these will be fairly insignificant. The inclusion of a cheaper Core i3 model is particularly interesting.

Flipboard

Flipboard

Cat Power - Wanderer Music Album Reviews

On her first album in six years, Chan Marshall roams the many moods of her songwriting with a careful, soft-spoken power.

Chan Marshall’s career is solitary and self-sustaining like few others. Her catalog is a mountain range, each peak indifferent to what preceded it and unconcerned with what follows it. With barely more than her voice and a guitar, she has built a rich and variable universe spanning an array of moods—unnerving, consoling, paranoiac, sensual—and her albums situate themselves along those moods like stations of the cross. They don’t change much from one to the next, but even if they sound similar, they each feel different.

Wanderer is her 10th album, her first in six years, and the first that revisits each and every one of those moods, at least fleetingly. The opening title track brings her wondrous voice to the fore, highlighting the chocolate rasp she used so well on 2006’s The Greatest. “Robbin Hood” is based on the same minor chord as “Werewolf” from 2002’s You Are Free. I spent minutes trying to figure out which song “You Get” directly reminded me of before realizing it reminded me, indirectly, of all of them—any time she’s ever picked up a guitar, summoned a few words of generalized wisdom, and dug into the song’s veins to scrape out all the feeling she could.

These are paths Marshall has led us down before—the piano chords pooling into their own delay pedals, fingerpicked guitars lingering on a minor chord like a blank stare held a beat too long. Rob Schnapf, who’s also produced for Elliott Smith and Beck, shapes the record with an ear for low, bass sounds, both the throatier, huskier notes in Marshall’s voice and the rounded pop of the hand-slapped percussion on “In Your Face.” The resulting mood lands somewhere between swaying hips and nervous rocking. The blissed-out piano of “Horizon” feels both beautiful and slightly vacant, like it could be streaming down from heaven or piping weakly into a drugstore. It is one of the album’s most arresting songs, in part for the brittle, anxious energy rattling around inside it.

Marshall’s lyrics, as they often do, arrow themselves towards an unnamed “you,” carrying notes of resentment and affirmation. On Wanderer, she often blends the two, warning, indicting, and soothing all in the same breath. “There is nothing like time to give you things you can need,” she advises on “You Get,” an echo of Sun highlight “Nothin’ But Time,” and a piece of wisdom near-grandmotherly in its affect. But then, from the same song: “You never listen to time, you never build up the times.” Only a slight rewording, and yet it feels pregnant with meaning, an accusation lobbed at someone who has never had to rebuild themselves after trauma.

Most of her lyrics don’t ask to be typed, because they live inside her phrasing, the hesitant way she holds the words in her mouth, like she is considering them as she sings them. This oblique, ambulatory phrasing can sound like rambling, but within the music, it works more like pacing—her repetition loosens you up, and then she slips the knife. Consider this stretch from “Black”:
A dead man now, once was a friendRan all the way upstairs just to make my defense saved meThrew me in the bath, with the ice and a slapCan of Coke down my throat, almost his whole hand fittin’ in—I was dyingFirst I was amused, close to death ever beenBut when the white light went away I knew death was setting in
It is a crystalline, harrowing short story in one verse, and the entire album could stop here for you to live inside its bleak details—the can of Coke, the “dead man now, once was a friend,” the “first I was amused.” But Marshall, and the song, murmurs onward.

There are a few other moments on Wanderer that truly freeze time this way. The Rihanna cover “Stay” reminds us how Marshall can rearrange a song simply by squinting at it—suddenly the most important line was buried somewhere in the middle. The lyrics on “Stay” are pared back but otherwise recognizable, as is the arrangement, but the pauses happen in all different places, making Marshall’s “I want you to stay” a completely different sentence from Rihanna’s.

Another time-stopper is the Lana Del Rey collaboration “Woman.” Their voices—deep, confident, hooded—blend into one, with Del Rey technically on backup. Del Rey’s universe, full of bright candy reds and pastels, does not resemble Marshall’s on the surface, but the two of them share a weary resignation, a survivor’s determination, that makes their duet feel like two halves of one circling thought. The chorus is simply “I’m a woman,” but repeated with varying shades of defiance, pain, pride, warmth, and urgency. The word “woman”—as label, as cultural identity, as epithet—streaks its way up into the sky, glittering and burning off the fog.

Apart from these moments, Wanderer drags just the tiniest bit. It speaks softly from the echoes of the best Cat Power moments, which means it doesn’t ice-pick you in the center of your most treasured insecurities the way some of her most celebrated music has. She just doesn’t aim there—she aims for your affirmation, she pierces your armor. It seems churlish to miss the impact, but it’s equally difficult not to yearn for it.


View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Apple iPad Pro 2018 vs Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Apple’s latest iPad Pros are a very tempting purchase, but should you stick with the tried-and-tested Surface Pro from Microsoft? We help you decide which tablet to buy.
Should I Buy The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Or Apple iPad Pro 11in (2018)? Two very competent 2-in-1s, one running Windows 10, the other iOS 12. For many this difference alone will inform the final choice, but both are top-notch tablets. 

Huawei P Smart 2019 Review

Huawei has updated its budget Android phone for 2019. It’s faster and better than before, but should you buy it? Read our review to find out.
Should I Buy The Huawei P Smart 2019?
The P Smart 2019 is a great upgrade from the 2018 model with a bigger screen and better performance. However, as with the original P Smart, Honor's version is better value.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

Nokia 9 Release Date, Price & Spec Rumours

We've waited two years for the Nokia 9, and at the end of this month the company could finally put us out of our misery. Here's what we know about the Nokia 9 PureView, which could feature a penta-lens rear camera.
Nokia made its comeback to the Android market in January 2017 with the Nokia 6, and we've been waiting two years now for its long-rumoured flagship Nokia 9 to arrive. At MWC 2018 we thought that time was here, and then we got the the Nokia 8 Sirocco. But now the wait could really, really be over, as the Nokia 9 is tipped to land before the end of January 2019. 

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

Like Fan Page