Song of the Day - 4/28/06

I can't think of a better way to avoid my paper at four in the morning...

Relatively speaking, ”He War” is one of the heaviest rock songs on Cat Power’s You Are Free disc. It is rumored that frontman Chan Marshall was aided by ex- Nirvana drummer and Foo FightersDave Grohl on several tracks from the album. The typically sparse information found in the credits cryptically attribute the drums to D.G. and T.H. only, which I suppose only helps to foster Marshall’s reticent mystique; the female counterpart to Palace’s reclusive Will Oldham if you will. ”He War” is also one of the more produced tracks found on the album, Grohl providing a shuffling drum groove to crackly guitar, accented by piano runs and high chiming guitar licks. Marshall’s lyrics remain somewhat obtuse as she sings in a close, double tracked harmonies, “I never meant to be the needle that broke your back / You were here, don’t look back / He war / He war / He will kill for you / Hide from who you can / You know you can” that suggest an ill-fated relationship that best be buried in the past. In the second half, Marshall’s vocal takes on a hypnotic vibe that is exaggerated by the phone line fidelity of her voice and an exaggerated delivery as she purrs with almost haughty defiance, “I’m not that hot new chic / And if you want me to run with it / We’re on to your same old trick / Get up and run away with it”. Chiming guitars, floaty backing vocals and the thud of toms drive the point home as the song builds to a climax. ”He War” show signs of a maturity, of an artist more comfortable in the studio setting and confident enough to make it work to her advantage. (amg)

Cat Power - "He War"

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