Chan Marshall aka Cat Power's disarmingly naive music hits you in the gut with its bare simplicity. Her hurt, vibrato-less tone is pure, velvety, and completely understated. In its simplicity, it seems to convey all the sadness of the world, like a leafless tree silhouetted against slate-gray sky heavy with rain clouds. On 2000's The Covers Record, Marshall explores the work of other songwriters, deconstructing each song and then reconstructing it as her own. She accompanies herself on guitar, piano, or autoharp and her arrangements are minimal, hypnotic, repetitive riffs with chords that barely change. Anyone familiar with Cat Power will be hard-pressed to tell the difference between these covers and Marshall's originals. The Stones' "Satisfaction" is barely recognizable in its new, slowed-down version, the chorus is missing, and the lyrics take on Dylan-esque/surrealist proportions. Other covers include the Velvet Underground's "I Found a Reason" and an autoharp setting of "Sea of Love." The Covers Record's' retro, bare-boned, 21st century folk aesthetic reminds you of the days before the advent of recording when songs changed form from one singer to the next.

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