There are a few things to know before listening to Cat Power's Sun
, her first original album in more than six years. Well, that's the first thing. But you also need to know that in between The Greatest
, Chan Marshall went through a rough break-up, extreme financial issues, and a bout with alcoholism and mental instability that resulted in her hospitalization. While writing and recording the self-funded Sun
, she played demos for a friend who told her that it sounded like "depressing old Cat Power." Marshall stopped working on the album for eight months. It's impossible to listen to this album without having what Marshall went through to make it and the kind of feelings Cat Power symbolizes, in mind. Everything is in context -- even the fact that the album is named Sun
is a surprising new direction.