Chan Marshall devised the Cat Power moniker in order to put a degree of separation between herself and the often-twisted individuals who inhabit her songs. Here, she takes another step back while also taking a step forward. As the album title indicates, these are covers of other people's songs. Yet she sings them with no less intensity than if they were her own. Mick Jagger may have snarled the definitive "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," but Marshall takes a different tack. She removes the chorus and returns it as elegant slow blues. The Velvet Underground's "I Found a Reason" becomes a near-wordless cry. She relies only on her sufficient guitar picking and likeably amateurish piano tinkling, creating an isolated web not unlike that of Neil Young at his most deserted. Most appropriately, she covers "Red Apples" by Smog, whom she resembles in approach. Obscure (traditional and early) Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, and Michael Hurley tunes complement the bruised but not buried surroundings. - Rob O'Connor
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