Neko Case


Mojo (UK) - - Filter Albums - Chris Nel­son

Rock and coun­try singer gets philo­soph­i­cal for eighth solo long-player. On Hell-On’s open­ing ti­tle track, Case de­fines di­vin­ity as capri­cious as “a lusty tyre fire,” fu­elled by “rock, pa­per, scis­sors rage”. A few songs later, on Bad Luck, she ques­tions her own er­ratic na­ture: “My heart could break for a one-legged seag­ull, and still af­ford noth­ing to you?” Im­ages both earthy and heav­enly make re­peated show­ings, but Case’s vex­ing con­cern is trou­bled hu­mans. On My Un­cle’s Navy, she’s trau­ma­tised by a re­la­tion who tears the heads from snakes, yet notes, “Bul­lies are not born, they are pressed into form.” Sev­eral songs func­tion nearly as spo­ken word (a pity for we who love Case’s belt­ing melodies). That’s true for Curse Of The I-5 Cor­ri­dor, though its cho­rus is clas­sic coun­try: “Baby I’m afraid… maybe I should go home alone tonight.” The dread­filled mu­sic that fol­lows sug­gests she doesn’t. Per­haps am­biva­lence is our most godly char­ac­ter­is­tic.

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