Cat Power: Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert (Domino) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Cat Power

Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert

Domino

Nov 14, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Cat Power’s (aka Chan Marshall) life long obsession with Bob Dylan is immortalized on her 2008 ode “Song to Bobby.” Some 15 years on, Marshall pays further tribute by recreating Dylan’s legendary Royal Albert Hall concert in the space where the original performance was misattributed. Consisting of the same songs played in the same order, Marshall’s take comes in a few minutes shorter than the original due to trimming back on some of Dylan’s extended harmonica runs.

Vocally, Marshall is in top form and her mimic of Dylan’s swerves and curves around a myriad of mind-blowing couplets is impeccable. Marshall is well noted for her interpretive skills (see 2000’s The Cover Record or 2008’s Jukebox), but here hews close to maintaining a loyal read out of her muse’s masterpiece. No doubt tackling a nearly 90-minute long live performance of another artist’s work leaves little room for reinterpretation, but there are moments of transcendence here as well.

During the second half of the dozen minute “Desolation Row” and particularly on “Mr. Tambourine Man,” singer and song become one to the extent the listener forgets that there is a task at hand. Sympathetically backed by a five-piece band, the stripped down acoustic portion of the album fares best. Whereas part of the original recording’s energy was brought on by the palpable sense that Dylan was being pressed and put upon, both by his band and the audience, here Marshall is shown nothing but grace from those same quarters. Cat Power Sings Dylan is a faithful tip of the hat to a master and his most revered performance. If one approaches the album from that perspective, there is much to be treasured here. (www.catpowermusic.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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