100 Best Albums of the 2000s

26

Cat Power, 'The Greatest'

Chan Marshall's early career was defined by haunting tunes and onstage meltdowns that were literally showstopping. The Greatest marked a turning point for the Georgia native: Recording in Memphis with former members of Booker T. and the MG's and Al Green's band, Marshall delivered a sensuous, grooving masterpiece, driven by gentle funk, lilting country and a voice that sounded weathered by bad love and two packs a day. Songs like the rootsified "Empty Shell" drew you into Marshall's world, but instead of making you feel her pain they invited you to follow her dreams.

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