Chan Marshall has never been shy about disclosing her influences – Cat Power’s Myspace page is more an homage to beloved artists than a promotional tool. In January, Cat Power followed up 2000’s The Covers Record with Jukebox, another batch of songs made famous by other people; Dark End of the Street is a digital-only release of five more tracks from the Jukebox sessions.As signposts of Cat Power’s evolution, these two covers albums reflect the subtle transformation from where she began her career as a raw, bluesy indie waif on 1996’s What Would the Community Think to her arrival as a credible soul singer on 2006’s The Greatest. Though her voice isn’t as powerful as the Queen of Soul’s, Marshall moulds Aretha Franklin’s “It Ain’t Fair” and the title track to suit her strengths. Employing Cowboy Junkies’ brooding cover of “Sweet Jane” as a broad template, Cat Power’s Dirty Delta Blues Band slows down the tempo and provides an accomplished backdrop to the understated intensity of Marshall’s smoky voice. But when stacked against the original recording, there is just no comparison. When she chooses to emphasise gospel organs on Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)”, the song transcends faithful rendition and becomes uniquely her own. Unfortunately, the darkly cinematic treatment of most songs on Dark End of the Street lacks this track’s climactic build-up, and too much of the album’s sound falls flat.Her latter-day acquired professionalism is, ironically, Marshall’s Achilles heel. Despite the inventive ways in which she overhauls the arrangements, the songs have a predictable quality her earlier work avoided. Quieter moments were brilliantly punctuated with guitar squalls that seemed to come from nowhere, adding a keen sense of urgency. Without contrasts like that, Dark End of the Street, like Jukebox, is merely an adequate listening experience.While her choices remain invigorating and her modern, stripped-down sound refreshes dated production techniques, the Jukebox sessions would have benefited from, say, a Sonic Youth tune, or something more drastic, such as Black Flag – both of which appear as Marshall’s YouTube video picks. The best song on Dark End of the Street is Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”. Marshall sings “fortunate one” with a quiet bravado that is as affecting as it is removed from Fogerty’s original. Yet even as one of the most inspired tunes in her extensive collection of covers, it only serves to highlight how much better Cat Power is when performing Cat Power songs.64%Cat Power on MyspaceDark End of the Street is out now on Matador.