Track of the Day: 'Ruin'

By Jay Ferguson

Past Tracks Have you found your song of the summer yet? Has it found you? If not, then look and listen no further. For your consideration: "Ruin" by Cat Power (a.k.a. Chan Marshall). While I'd always admired her voice, I'd never been struck by one of her records the way I was when I first heard the opening circular piano riff and drum pattern on this early glimpse of her forthcoming LP, Sun.

An observational travelogue of sorts, Marshall's hazy, moonlit vocals are set to a Saturday-night beat that I imagine will play nicely under mirrorballs from Mozambique to Belfast to "some little bitty island in the middle of the Pacific." Perhaps some credit is due to the Frenchman on the flying faders, Philippe Zdar, for the mix that builds upon a backing track—which could easily be mistaken for Phoenix in disguise. When the electric guitar kicks in, it's almost as if Ron Wood slipped on to the stage with them unannounced, providing an effect like that of Stevie Ray Vaughan when he paradoxically stepped into the spotlight to elevate Bowie's "Let's Dance". Sadly, the full LP is not out until September 3rd, which will only give us 19 remaining days to enjoy what could be the soundtrack of the summer.

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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/06/track-of-the-day-ruin/259059/