Culture Rover

#6 - The Alchemy of Free

Cat Power, "Free," on You Are Free (Matador, 2003)

Everyone missed this affirmation of life while musing on Cat Power a.k.a. Chan Marshall's nihilistic self-destructive tendencies when they reviewed her album last year. "Don't be in love with the autograph," Marshall sings over a robotic Cars-like electronic techno-groove -- one that harnesses the machine for humanistic ends, reaching for liberation on a disciplined beat. "Just be in love when you sing that song...Free." It's a manifesto for worshipping the song not the singer, the message not the messenger, the empowering action not the idealized abstraction or fantasized persona. The song dissolves the self in a cold rinse of trebly acoustic guitar and icy beats. But in this dissolve, our souls fizz, turn, bubble, crack-up, spin, congeal, cohere: in the dissolve, it feels like we have a chance to discover our true selves.

23 June 04

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