Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 352
Thurs, Jan 03, 2013
“3 6 9”
“♫ I feel
still at the
Cat Power fans will recognize the addition of electronic vibes on her latest album, Sun; Chan Marshall has come a long way since her quiet guitar strumming days of Moon Pix, but Marshall doesn’t just use electronics for show, the problem with some techno music based music is sometimes the electronic are used to cover up the fact that the DJ has only beats without the confides of writing a song. Cat Power uses electronics to layer and enhance her eloquent musings in song.
One of the best examples of electronics on 2012’s Sun is the way that Chan blends the rapping hip hop esthetic with the electronic beats on “3 6 9.” For some more traditional Cat Power fans the sound of these keyboards and beats would be a shock but after a few spins you will discover a method to Chan Marshall’s rap influenced revelation.
Marshall talked about how Sun reflects a renewed outlook on life as she explained to Michael Hogan, “Well, I think I’m different than earlier stuff. I think, as a 40-year-old woman, I’m finally — not finally, but I’m looking forward to 42, 49, 55, 68. I’m actually looking forward to not just surviving anymore. Yeah, there’s bad news and things, you know. There’s a lot of bad news in reality, but I’m me and I have my life and if I can talk about the news when I have the chance, to help or do something in the moment I have a microphone or something.”
I hear “3 6 9” as one of those Ryan Adams “I See Monsters” what fearful thoughts spin through your mind before you fall asleep. “3 6 9” is more than a twenty-first century lullaby, in fact as you hear Cat Power strip away all the layers at the coda you will realize when hear Marshall sing “Fuck Me,” you realize that maybe all of these thoughts are what some people have to go through just to share an intimate moment with someone.
Marshall explained what “3 6 9” and Sun is really about when she said, “No, no, no, it’s not about being in control or having power. It’s about realizing that I have a choice in what I feel. So am I different from that person [who recorded the earlier albums]? I just feel like I’ve learned that when a challenge presents itself, it may be difficult or look like a piece of shit or whatever, but I have to figure out a way to remember that I’m a determined — I’m just a human. I’m just determined. We all go through the same shit. OK, so let’s go through the shit a little bit. And then you’ll be done with the shit, OK? Not to let it hold me down or overwhelm, not to pile on top of other shit or the memories. I can’t do anything about the past or a lot of times the present, but that’s that.”
There’s a reason Chan called “3 6 9,” is one of her favorite love songs on Sun as she explained, “because it’s about self-respect, which is an aspect of love.” “3 6 9” is a personal anthem of not letting your second thoughts and fear take over your life. Brave, bold and unafraid to share the true side of her exposed Sun lines; Cat Power reflects a true shade under her skin and it’s just as terrified as we are.
What gives “3 6 9” power is the muscle behind Cat Power’s heavy-duty rhymes. Oh and I love those distinctive angelic harmonies on “3 6 9; the backing vocals and O.G. beats echo the old school funk days of Luscious Jackson. Cat Power’s well crooned Vocoder cut is actually Sun’s stirring funkafied empowerment groove. Any way you dial it up songs like “3 6 9” are the reason why this Chanteuse wielding her valiant verses Chan Marshall, remains uncompromisingly vulnerable, universally beloved – equally in song.