Lauded American colludes with all-star cast
As neko Case was finishing recording Hell-On in Sweden, her home in Vermont burned down. It would (obviously) be wrong to reverse-engineer this misfortune into an overarching theme of Hell-On (although Case appears ablaze on the cover wearing a cigarette wig), but there is (if not for the first time) a wry fatalism underpinning Case’s work, especially discernible on “Bad Luck” and “Curse Of The I-5 Corridor”, a duet with Mark Lanegan – other contributors include KD Lang, Robert Forster, Joey Burns and Beth Ditto. As ever, Case finds room for expansive manoeuvres in the gap between her lusty, orthodox pop choruses and droll, deadpan voice. Still a singer-songwriter like no other.