Cat Power, "Cherokee"; Frank Ocean "Pyramids"

Here is the new video for “Cherokee,” the first song from Cat Power’s new album, Sun. Below, you will find the new video for “Pyramids,” the tenth song from Frank Ocean’s new album, Channel Orange. Both of these songs are great. Frank Ocean’s album is, I think, the best album to be released so far this year. Cat Power’s album is, I think, also one of the best, and — at least based on a first week’s listening — her best work since Moon Pix and The Covers Album marked her artistic peak at the turn of the century. (Well, her first artistic peak, hopefully.) Both these videos feature violence and a mysterious magic represented by a glowing triangle shape. But more than that, the boring familiarness of each of them proves that no one ever has to set any scene of any music video on a desert highway in the American West ever again. (Or, for that matter, during a zombie apocalypse or at a strip bar. The Frank Ocean video contains exposed human nipples and buttocks, and therefore may be unsuitable for viewing at your place of work.)

Man, it’s never fun to watch John Mayer play guitar, either, is it? (Except, of course, with Dave Chapelle.) Though I do like the usage of his super-clean/smooth-groove/easy-listening/’60’s-child stylings within the synthesized context of the rest of this song. And I do wish I had a cool guitar that had a flashlight at the bottom like his does. I don’t know how to play the guitar, but it would be a good thing to bring camping. Not that I’d ever want to go camping again. Why am I still talking?

Oh, but while I am, and on the subject of Cat Power and hip-hop, have you ever heard her sing her version of the Hot Boys’ 1999 hit, “I Feel”?

It is absolutely terrific. One of the most inspired cover choices I know of. Here is the original:

Very different, right?! But, man, they’re both so good. And it’s excellent that the Hot Boys version ends with Turk saying, “I feel like these niggas need to stop stop taking our shit,” and then Cat Power went ahead and rerecorded it anyway. I feel like “I Feel” stands as evidence of the fact that Cat Power is the single greatest interpreter of other people’s songs of her generation.