Is it the greatest Cat Power album of all time? No. Is it the worst Cat Power album of all time? Probably not. Does it have a couple of the greatest Cat Power songs of all time? Yes.
Chan gets a lots smoother here by teaming up with some first rate musicians. There's some real structure to some of these songs, especially toward the beginning of the album.
I would say the last three full length releases have all had the same feel for me. A couple of stand out, fantastic songs, a couple of real duds, and a bunch of stuff in between. Unfortunately, this pattern gives me just enough to keep coming back for more. The Greatest is no different. The title track and "Lived in Bars" are hands down superb.
Just as a tip for those who will be purchasing: make sure you purchase the limited edition digi-pak version of the album. It contains a decent bonus track. I found mine in person at a Barnes & Noble, which is not a typical music purchasing location for me but it got the job done. After I posted this I noticed that Barnes & Noble seems to have the digi-pak for sale on their website. Get it here. At least then you can deal in US dollars.
My feelings towards The Greatest remind me that at some point I need to write about my First Album Theory which basically states that the first album that makes you get into a certain artist always ends up being your favorite, never to be topped. Note that this is not necessarily the artist's first album, just the first for you. Anyway, that is a topic for another time.