• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Mar 21, 2000
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 100
    Is it essential? Absolutely. With only a guitar or piano, and a voice that is developing into one of the most expressive in rock, Marshall crafts deeply textured explorations of heartache, terror, longing, dismay, and emotions I'm pretty sure I've not found yet.... Rock will see few finer releases this year.
  2. The unrelenting bleakness that pervades most of Marshall's music can be oppressive when taken in excess, and The Covers Record's gloom is exacerbated by the fact that its instrumental accompaniment seldom entails more than a piano or guitar... That barren approach can't match the stunning elegance of 1998's Moon Pix... but it is appropriate: The Covers Record is Marshall laid bare, and it needs no embellishments.
  3. 90
    Here, backed only by guitar or piano, she inhabits other singers' material (including Smog's "Red Apples") with a fierce conviction that's often startling.
  4. Puncture
    90
    Its deft beauty fuses Marshall's powerful fears about the world and herself with her manifest belief in the divinity of song. [#46, p.34]
  5. Marshall takes wild liberties with lyrics and melodies, and dissolves indie-rock self-consciousness into fractured, heartrending folk-blues.
  6. 80
    Rarely, though, do artists completely strip original material of all familiarity and reconstruct them in their own sensibility the way that Cat Power has here.
  7. Checkout.com
    80
    This extraordinarily gifted vocalist casts an unbreakable spell over each interpretation, turning it into something else entirely, and making one believe that it's impossible for the supposed original to be as significant.
  8. 80
    The Covers Record is for the daring music fan; Marshall's quiet journey and its rich, emotional rewards are not for the faint of heart.
  9. An uncommonly moving singer whose deliberate delivery extracts volumes of yearning and melancholy from her own material and the work of other writers.
  10. 80
    Quite a few steps away from the "typical" girl-with-guitar record, this is the album that reveals Marshall to be quite a unique force.
  11. Marshall?s sparest album yet, The Covers Album uses guitar and piano as the only foils for her malleable, emotional voice.
  12. The simplicity of it all (only one instrument and vocals) highlights her vocals even more and even when the disc closes out with the more upbeat "Sea Of Love," you'll still feel a bit of melancholy hovering over.
  13. Marshall traipses around on just about everybody's hallowed ground here and pulls it off without inducing winces.
  14. Not only does Marshall make each of the album's dozen songs her own, but she leaves you straining to recognize the original in what she's marvelously reconfigured.
  15. Although the album tends to meander at times, with too many similarly arranged tracks clumped together, the individual highlights here are inspired enough to make "The Covers Record" a unique work in its own right.
  16. With her distressed, Southern-inflected vocals and guitar/piano accompaniments tolling like perpetual church bells, Cat Power brings these songs successfully into her own, bleak domain.
  17. While we await her next album of new material, due next winter, The Covers Record provides a stopgap fix of her unnerving, coldblooded voice and shaky acoustic guitar.
  18. The uninitiated will still perceive these songs as music to slit your wrists to, but The Covers Record is actually the first time Chan Marshall lets her hair down for more than one song per album.
  19. Eventually, though, the guitar-and-piano-only, stripped-down dynamics mean that a dull torpor settles over the album.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Nov 20, 2013
    10
    This album is perfection. I've never really liked cover versions of most songs, but somehow Marshall makes all these songs (some of which I amThis album is perfection. I've never really liked cover versions of most songs, but somehow Marshall makes all these songs (some of which I am completely unfamiliar of) sound very appealing and magnificent. My favorite track would be the opener "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". Cat Power Rules! Full Review »
  2. GabyDas3
    Feb 18, 2007
    10
    im fourteen and this album makes me happy, nostaglic (i know how ridiculous that sounds) and calm. with an amazing voice which is hypnotic, im fourteen and this album makes me happy, nostaglic (i know how ridiculous that sounds) and calm. with an amazing voice which is hypnotic, amazing and fantastic this album can only be a must have for anyone. Can't Get no Satisfaction' from Rolling Stones is the most amazing cover i have every heard...Cat Power makes me appreciate music again. Full Review »
  3. Ricky
    Jul 20, 2006
    10
    Her voice is entrancing and addictive.