Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Review: 'Dark End of the Street EP'/Cat Power

Saying I liked this record would be like saying I would refuse a man membership in the Ancient Order of Ball-Punchers if he walked in to one of our smoke-filled backroom meetings, hung Chris Martin on a hook and proceeded to use his nutsack as a speed-bag while the assembled membership slammed beers and threw peanuts like the animals they are. 

And by that I mean 'It would never happen'. 

This is a terrible record and by that I mean it is terrible. I didn't like it. I've been pretty clear about these things, and I really believe that no matter how famous you are, you need a collection of regular old friends with houses and kids and real lives so that you can go over, sit on their couch, play your new album and say 'Tell me if this sucks.' That's it. This would save the world thousands of one and two star rated songs.

Imagine you are an old friend of Jason Pierce from Spiritualized. He comes over, you crack some beers, and he says 'Let me play you my new shit.' Oh, man, you say. Totally. Put that stuff on now.

He plays the record. There are some good songs (three, exactly), but you also notice that there are SIX SONGS under 1:30, ranging from 'Harmony 1 (Mellotron)' to 'Harmony 6 (Glockenspiel)', all of which are completely annoying and useless. You awkwardly look up at Jason and say the following: 'Are these really necessary? Think anyone will ever refer to these as their favorite song? Think anyone will ever throw them on at a party? Or are you just being arty and deep and therefore inducing rage in people in who bought the entire album and got stuck with these terrible, soul-crushingly douchey jack-off songs?'

Problem solved, catastrophe averted.

And so, Cat Power, we come to you. Taking good songs and singing them very slowly in a different key and blah, blah, blah makes for bad songs. 'Dark End of the Street' is the only four star here, and your voice is the only thing that carries it. Want to hear a better version? See Bragg, Billy on his Live in Australia album. Or the Commitments. But come on, you had to know the rest were snorers. Didn't you? 

'Fortunate Son' is supposed to be an angry song. Cat Power drains it of life and just tosses a lay up our way. You will not hear this in the opening montage of the next Vietnam movie while Huey's fly past, and that is a shame. 

I won't belabor the point, but just don't buy this. See below for ratings. See your friends before you put an album like this out for public consumption, or bury them on a full length LP. For the love of ball-punchery, I beg you.

Dark End of the Street (* * * *)
Fortunate Son (* *)
Ye Ould Triangle (* *)
I've Been Loving You Too Long (* *)
Who Knows Where the Time Goes (* *) 
It Ain't Fair (* *)


Carver said...

Why even bother? Did you really like Cat Power's previous album? What's your method for choosing which album to review?

Himself said...

I choose the albums based upon musicians I like, although I will occasionally review an album that is totally horrible just for the amusement of kicking the shit out of it. Also, I did like her last album. If you did not like it, perhaps you need to consume a little more wine and cheese and get in the mood. Tee-hee.