Jukebox - Cat Power
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Jukebox is an unsurprising album. It sounds exactly how you'd expect–-classic, but not overly well known, songs, like Dylan's 'I Believe In You,' squeezed by the Cat Power sound into tracks that sound like they could feature on "The Greatest."
  2. A covers album like Jukebox should reveal new facets of a performer in its selection and interpretation of favorite songs. That's how (and why) "The Covers Record" worked. But eight years later, only 'Song for Bobby' tells us anything new about Chan Marshall. The rest of Jukebox doesn't even say much about Cat Power.
  3. 80
    If anything, Jukebox is bolder than "Covers," not least because two of the more obvious songs have been dropped from the original intended tracklisting.
  4. She refashions material from other artists and makes it seem like it's been hers all along.
  5. Jukebox is a big, bold kiss-off to the indie ghetto that’s braver and all the more interesting for the approach she’s chosen.
  6. Marshall may appear more stylish, her striking face and poker straight hair gracing many more magazine covers than it used to, but the music making is clearly totally safe in her hands, and anyone predicting a creative nosedive any time soon should be in for a very long wait.
  7. This album's pleasures stand as something warmly new from a major talent.
  8. Uneven as it may be, Jukebox is still a worthwhile portrait of Chan Marshall's artistry.
  9. Her voice remains one of the finest of our times--a languorous, heart-stopping breath, with just enough smoke to emphasise the marks of experience. But the extra layers surrounding this jewel often cloud its natural beauty.
  10. 88
    This is Cat Power as strong and mature as we know her today.
  11. It's her cathartic, invigorating voice on the never-miss Jukebox that aids in delivering one of the best albums of 2008--already.
  12. Marshall's reinterpretations reveal a welcome intimacy.
  13. She doesn’t outdo the originals. Instead, like a fan, she claims them by pondering them.
  14. A tender fragility still touches her music, effectively so, but these strong interpretations feel like another step toward strengthening her own foundations.
  15. They’re subtle, but loaded with the laid-bare emotion she spent so long learning to harness.
  16. Jukebox's few truly memorable moments--such as the shimmering 'Silver Stallion,' which takes the jaunty country-rock tune popularized by the Highwaymen and turns it into a late-night whisper, à la her version of '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'--are dwarfed by the merely adequate ones.
  17. 40
    Marshall’s second album of covers, mostly continues the cleaned-up, virtually lobotomized aesthetic of 2006’s unfortunately heralded "The Greatest."
  18. Full of simmering restraint, Jukebox sounds lived-in and genuine, less a genre experiment than full fledged statement.
  19. It’s a low, slow groove that might be coming out of the bodies of the musicians as much as their instruments--echoey, held back even at its most intense, every note sung or played with a determination not to force anything.
  20. Subtle touches of jazz, blues, rock and country add to the dreamy, soulful elegance and make Jukebox feel like a private love letter to treasured tunes.
  21. Ultimately, Marshall's knack for rearranging and her adulation for the artists at hand make Jukebox almost as compelling as an original confession.
  22. On Jukebox, she shows how her diverse tastes formed what she is today, an artist working at the height of her powers. [Winter 2008, p.81]
  23. Any decent covers album should reveal its songs, not dress them up - but by Marshall's standards, Jukebox is an overly polite and frustratingly removed listening experience.
  24. 80
    Not even Cat Power can turn an album of cover versions into anything more than a facinating detour from the main journey, but Jukebox is a precious waste of time nonetheless. [Jan 2008, p.98]
  25. On Jukebox, some of the eyes-closed magic is traded for dim lights, but the readings are just as stunning.
  26. 60
    But there’s a fine line between subtlety and listlessness, and while Marshall’s purr excels at postcoital melancholy or numb disaffection, other times it’s just a bore. Her blues aren’t nearly as vibrant when they’re drenched in gray.
  27. Jukebox might not be the jewel in her crown, but it still catches the light and imagination. [Feb 2008, p.91]
  28. 60
    The journey is less emotionally fraught than her best work, but just as revealing.
  29. Frustratingly, Jukebox takes a more soft-focus tack. [Feb 2008, p.114]
  30. Naturally, the interpretations go beyond mere homage as Marshall uses her mysterious Cat Power skills to channel the spirits of the singers who inspired her, with mixed results.
  31. Minor mis-steps are a fair trade-off for an album that doesn't simply doff its cap in tribute.
  32. Jukebox isn’t a misstep, but it does seem like a unnecessary lull towards an album that might build on the promise of Jukebox’s best assets, the most important ones being of Chan’s own, warming design.
  33. Jukebox follows the soulful turn of 2006's "The Greatest," cueing up an uneven sequel to the hushed acoustics of 2000's "The Covers Record."
  34. It sucessfully grafts the Memphis-soul verve of her 2006 album of originals, "TheGreatest," onto tunes from James Brown, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, and gospel-era Bob Dylan. [25 Jan 2008, p.70]
  35. 80
    She sounds reawakened by the calm. [Mar 2008, p.98]
  36. Despite a smattering of highlights, there’s no gut-punch anywhere on Jukebox.
  37. As a state-of-the-career, Jukebox works. But, coming from an artist that has given us so much in the past, that just might not be enough.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Nov 20, 2013
    10
    From the opening "New York" followed by "Metal Heart", "Silver Stallion" to the closing "Don't Explain" and "Blue", this album delivers aFrom the opening "New York" followed by "Metal Heart", "Silver Stallion" to the closing "Don't Explain" and "Blue", this album delivers a sound that no other artist can deliver because Marshall's talent is that distinctive. You get rock, pop, folk, everything from one album. How can she ever disappoint? Full Review »
  2. jw
    Feb 3, 2008
    9
    I found it difficult to get past the first song ("New York"). It seemed indecent not to play it again. If Old Blue Eyes were still here, he I found it difficult to get past the first song ("New York"). It seemed indecent not to play it again. If Old Blue Eyes were still here, he would have been officially schooled, as the saying goes. Most of the album is like that. If she sang the phone book, you'd think the author brilliant. Full Review »
  3. Mr.Jackpot
    Jan 25, 2008
    9
    This album is a great way to start a day or end a night. Am I the only one who thinks "Jukebox" is better than "The Covers Record"?