"Moody ruminations on the fragile nature of life can be a tough sell, especially when they're flecked with haunting moans and screams. But from the mid-1990s on, Chan Marshall has proven herself a singer and songwriter who can really get under your skin. Working under the name Cat Power, she's earned a devoted, steadily growing fanbase that's followed her from humble avant-folk beginnings. As much about atmosphere as they are melody, her records have also become successively richer in sound, soul and scope."
Those versed in the Cat Power discography will detect elements of 2003's landmark album You Are Free, which experimented with vocal forms and beats borrowed from urban music, and the spellbinding authority of songs like “American Flag.” Sonically, however, with credit to mixer Philippe Zdar (Phoenix, Chromeo, Beasties), SUN is incredibly fresh, reflecting its forward-looking mindset.
Lyrically, Marshall has transcended the angst and self-absorption of her young self, but is still inspired by youth; much of the album is a plea for overcoming societal expectation and individual oppression. “Human Being” puts faint minor-chord fingerpicking over spooky, repetitive bass, with lyrics that could read as feminist – “you got a right to scream when they don’t want you to speak” – but are for anyone who feels they don’t have a voice. “Peace And Love” opens with a Nina Simone line – “peace and love is a famous generation” – then cites Black Flag, flips off people who dismissed her teenage idealism, and proudly concludes, “I’m a lover but I’m in it to win.” Similarly, “Nothin But Time” implores kids to look past today: “You’re just trying to get by, but your world is just beginning... it’s up to you to be a superhero, it’s up to you to be like nobody”.