Hell-On 8/10

UNCUT - - New Albums - AN­DrEW MUELLEr

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.

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