Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Neko Case: "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You" (album review)

With each subsequent release Neko Case further cements her status as the premier alt country songstress of our generation.  On September 3rd she returns with another installments, the Fiona Apple-esque titled The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.

Case is especially sharp-tongued this time around.  On the lead single, "Man", she portrays a stereotypical misogynist, turning the macho man into a laughing stock in the process.  Attitude cascades over "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu".

The album is chock full of guest appearances, including Kelly Hogan, M. Ward, and A.C. Newman.  The results are the gorgeously country "Night Still Comes" and the choppy New Pornographers-esque "Bracing for Sunday".

"Where Did I Leave That Fire" is one of Case's more experimental songs.  It conveys a dripping rain behind her echo-enhanced voice.  She gives a similarly stormy performance on "Afraid".

It's the peppy material that I react most positively to when it comes to Neko Case.  This time around it's tracks like "City Swans" and the album closer "Ragtime", which comes complete with grandiose horn flourishes.

In all The Worse Things Get... is a solid Neko Case record.  It's not a landmark, but it does a good job of demonstrating her creative range.  Fans won't be disappointed.

Best tracks: "Man", "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu"

Track listing for The Worse Things Get...:
  • Wild Creatures
  • Night Still Comes
  • Man
  • I'm From Nowhere
  • Bracing For Sunday
  • Nearly Midnight, Honolulu
  • Calling Cards
  • City Swans
  • Afraid
  • Local Girl
  • Where Did I Leave That Fire
  • Ragtime

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