Forming in 1995 fronted by female lead singer Chan Marshall Cat Power have released six albums over the coarse of seven years. I'm no Cat Power expert, I only own this and the bands most recent album You Are Free. When Comparing the two Moon Pix simply dominates instrumentaly, musically, and lyrically. If you are getting into Cat Power than this is the album to get. Moon Pix was released in 1998 and it's the bands fourth album.
Depressing music is not something that I typically listen to. I don't know why, every depressing or ambient album that I own is excellent. Moon Pix is one of the most depressing, reflective, melancholy, and angst-ridden albums that I have ever listened to. I will warn you right now that if you do not enjoy depressing music than don't go near this because Moon Pix is about as sad and depressing as it gets. This music is hypnotic, gentle, warm, and it can also be described as winter or "rainy day" music. When you listen to this you sort of forget where you are, the hypnotic and eerie themes of the music just put you in a trance. If you are looking for an album to use as backround music do not use this beacuse Moon Pix will get you unfocused and put you in a daze.
There is no doubt about it, Chan Marshall is an excellent female vocalist. Dropping out of high school at an early age Chan has a sophisticated, pretty, beautiful, voice and she really sounds depressed. When Chan sings it is like she is letting all of her aggression out. Although her voice is soft, gentle, and spooky it still sounds beautiful and you can tell that she is letting out bottled up aggression. On a few of these tracks she just whispers in a soft welcoming voice. The main reason I like Chans vocals so much is that her vocals are truly honest. When you listen to her voice you can almost feel the pain that she is going threw. The vocals are melancholy and haunting, Chan has one of the most beautiful and depressing vocals I have ever heard.
I have been raving about this album for quite some time, but there is one big downside. The instruments don't usually do too much. Moon Pix is a lo-fi, acoustic, folk influenced album. The light guitar licks and soft acoustic strums are what the music mainly consists of. A piano is also played on quite a few of these tracks but once again they arn't that special. Accompaning Chans vocals are a guitar and a piano. The guitars usually play light, gentle strums. Cat Power avoids rocking out and the guitar lines stay soft and sweet. The piano is the next big factor instrumentally. The piano shows up in quite a few of these tracks and it plays simple chords and scales. Remember this is a lo-fi folk influenced album, the piano plays here and there but it is a huge factor since there are no other main instruments with the exception of the guitar. Instrumentaly I find Moon Pix to be a bore. The guitar and piano do a good job, but don't do anything amazing like other lo-fi or indie rock bands.
Overall I would say that this is an excellent lo-fi, folk influenced melancholy album. The female vocals are spooky, gentle, and beautiful. They mix well with the soft guitar strums and piano chords. Moon Pix will put you in a trance and this is an extremely effective album on a rainy day. Once again if you dislike depressing or reflective music than don't go near this. When you listen to this the music just absorbs you, you will but in a trance you and you will never want to leave. Saying this Moon Pix can be hard to get into and you may find yourself struggling to get into this. All in all if you are seeking depressing, lo-fi, or music that will put you in a hypnotic state than Moon Pix is for you. Although Moon Pix isn't anything revolutionary it is still an excellent, and a very well done lo-fi, hypnotizing album.