Sun - Cat Power

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 44
  2. Negative: 1 out of 44
  1. 91
    She's never sounded more confident or in control than she does on Sun, her ninth album.
  2. Sep 4, 2012
    Ripe with propulsive tempos, drum machines, and electronic embellishments, the album sounds like nothing else she's ever done.
  3. 90
    Transformed in both sound and spirit, Sun is a passionate pop album of electronic music filtered through a singer-songwriter's soul.
  4. Aug 31, 2012
    Some of the best material she's ever penned.
  5. Aug 28, 2012
    Even peering through the gauze of the back-story, Cat Power's ninth album is a feat of musical and emotional maturity.
  6. 90
    For a songwriter with nearly two decades of performing under her belt, Marshall has never sounded so youthful or commanding.
  7. Sep 5, 2012
    "Sun" isn't as cuddly as "The Greatest," but it finds Marshall continuing to evolve as an artist in intriguing and unexpected ways.
  8. 88
    A big, confident, and captivating pop album.
  9. Sep 4, 2012
    With its array of loops, chilled keyboards and rhythmic accents ranging from the Caribbean to the Mississippi Delta, Sun makes Marshall's sultry, darkly shaded voice sound almost playful at times.
  10. Sep 4, 2012
    Marshall still manages to wring pathos out of her work, if not to the same degree and not in the same way.
  11. Sep 4, 2012
    Consider Sun the start of Cat Power's new musical life.
  12. Sep 25, 2012
    What makes Sun so exquisite is that Marshall finally sounds in control of her chaos.
  13. Sep 19, 2012
    For every infectious pop song, there's a lengthy, piano-and-synth-based epic, and everywhere a lust for life. [Oct 2012, p.83]
  14. Sep 14, 2012
    This is easily her fullest-sounding, most animated record to date, dense with layers upon layers of sound... and copious multi-tracking of Marshall's intimate, elusive, dispassionately soulful voice, which is richer and more versatile here than ever before. [No.91, p.51]
  15. Sep 12, 2012
    [Sun] is never less than intriguing, and more than often, grabs you by the heartstrings and pulls you in.
  16. Sep 11, 2012
    There's something about the flaws on this thing--the way Marshall lets it all hang loose, the way she continually tries to express a sentiment she can't quite put into words--that's absolutely fascinating in its humanity and compassion.
  17. Sep 6, 2012
    A thrilling journey of self-rediscovery. [Oct 2012, p.95]
  18. Sep 6, 2012
    The album's middle is slow, contemplative and ambient, allowing Marshall's deep-seated melancholy to reveal itself.
  19. Sep 5, 2012
    A collection of songs that represent a dynamic snapshot of the singer-songwriter in steady command of her craft while still occasionally giving way to passages of thin-skinned, deeply revealing storytelling.
  20. 80
    Aided by woozy, expansive production many of these songs shimmer with warmth and light. There's a brittleness here too though.
  21. 80
    It will be a relief to most that Sun glows with hard-won contentment.
  22. Sep 4, 2012
    Sun is hardly sloganeering, but its Power to the People ruminations are more potent and topical than you'd expect from a pop record--and certainly one made by Cat Power.
  23. Sep 4, 2012
    Sun is an album that conveys the full spectrum of emotions, but at the same time it manages to never sound convoluted or patched together.
  24. Sep 4, 2012
    Sun lives up to its name, but its album cover is more revealing: like the rainbow crossing Marshall's face, these songs are the meeting point between a stormy past and optimism for the future.
  25. Sep 4, 2012
    Marshall has always been one of the most emotionally intense songwriters around, but with Sun she has made her riskiest, most vital album, not to mention one of her greatest.
  26. Aug 28, 2012
    If there is nothing here as instantly transfixing as some of her past work, Sun comes alive on closer listening, revealing myriad depths and unexpected vocal turns.
  27. Aug 28, 2012
    Sun is a rewarding return to a new Cat Power, one who seems more at ease with her music and herself than ever before.
  28. Sep 5, 2012
    un doesn't reach the heights (or more accurately, wallow in the depths) of Moon Pix, but more than anything else she's made, it feels like a companion piece to that record, a conversation with an older and wiser voice.
  29. Sep 4, 2012
    Sun isn't the greatest collection of songs she's ever released--let's give that to You Are Free--but even her B-game is always worth hearing.
  30. Despite its flaws, Sun is not a complete failure and does deserve to be mentioned alongside the rest of her work, if only for the comparison of how she once tried something different--a flawed but worthwhile attempt.
  31. Oct 1, 2012
    Sun is undoubtedly Marshall's boldest and most diverse effort to date, and it is all the better for it.
  32. Sep 14, 2012
    This, then, is a rich and strange new sound for Marshall. [Oct 2012, p.85]
  33. Sep 12, 2012
    Sun is the light at the end of one hell of a tunnel, a record brimming with an assurance and playfulness that, if a little dorky in places, is about as cathartic as pop gets.
  34. Sep 7, 2012
    On Sun, Chan Marshall is so sure of herself that she's prepared to confront not just romance's injustice, but also the world's.
  35. At times things seem a touch over-produced--something that's always a risk when you spend half a decade working on 11 tracks. But mostly, Marshall's thickly layered studio shenanigans make Sun shine.
  36. Aug 28, 2012
    It's engineered, in a feature-article-friendly way, to embody its creator's personal development and comment on it in a way that's slick, weightless and easily disowned. For the first time in Marshall's career, lighter equals better
  37. Sep 5, 2012
    Even with its missteps--[Sun] is her most patient and generous record to date.
  38. 60
    On [Cat Power] Marshall has changed direction yet again, abandoning her soul charm for something much less appealing.... But her natural grace shines through on "3, 6, 9"... and "Ruin."
  39. Aug 30, 2012
    Sun isn't likely to land among the singer-songwriter's best records. It's clear, however, that her heart went into it. [Aug/Sep 2012, p.110]
  40. Aug 29, 2012
    Overall it's a robust, respectable detour but will leave some fans pining for the smoky chanteuse of old.
  41. Sep 12, 2012
    Bland, quasi-political lyrics and zonked-out, dead-end textures.
  42. Sun is an album of polished electronic pop that mostly struggles to distinguish itself from the current slew of female singers.
  43. Sep 5, 2012
    Its songs are mostly amalgams of tired pop music tropes/techniques and trite realizations
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Sep 27, 2012
    Why she's getting such good reviews for her last few albums is beyond me-probably the most sterile and emotionally dry music I heard in all my life...but Cherokee is good song,brings me some hope that she didn't lose it completely yet. Full Review »
  2. Sep 8, 2012
    I have been following Cat Power since Marshall's stunning "Nude as the News" single. I have bought everything that she put out before and since. Even the left field turn to soul pop, "The Greatest" was amazing. However Sun is a bland electro-pop sell out that simply does not work. I agree with the TMT review that "its songs are mostly amalgams of tired pop music tropes/techniques and trite realizations". Well put. Full Review »
  3. Oct 8, 2012
    Having loved everything else Cat Power has released, I wanted to love this but I just can't. I can only guess this is for listeners who don't love the rest of her work. She is of course free to move into new moods, musical styles, arrangements, and so on, but I can't join the sterile departure found here. Full Review »