Album: Neko Case – The Worse Things Get

cc96d05fd5e74bcf6d1d0249a863954f-001Somewhat of a modern musical veteran, Neko Case, began playing drums in various underground punk bands, which led her to becoming a resident member of Canadian super group, The New Pornographers. Releasing her first solo album, The Virginian, back in 1997 has seen a consistent and critically acclaimed career trail since then.

With latest release The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You (yep, that’s the full album title), Neko appears to have reached full circle, a punk heart encased in the soul of country music. After having gone through a particularly dark period of her life, Case comes up for air on this album. It feels wise, tender, bruised and hopeful. Not an easy combination to master.

On track Man, she sings with incredible assurance, “I’m a man, it’s what you raised me to be. I’m not an identity crisis.” Coupled with M.Ward on raging guitar, this feels like a true statement of intent. The instrumentation on the album is earthy and honest. Similarly, reading earlier interviews with Neko proves she’s just as true to her instincts today. “I’m not out to become Faith Hill, I never want to play an arena, and I never want to be on the MTV Video Music Awards. I would like to reach a larger audience and see the state of music change in favor of musicians and music fans in my lifetime. I care very much about that.”

It isn’t hard to sense genuine musicianship these days, in an age where Miley Cyrus acts somewhat of a ‘musical role model’ for younger gals, a true poet and classy spokeswoman stick out a mile. These are all attributes to which Neko Case excels greatly. It’s possible that with latest album, The Worse Things Get… she may just end up being the real man’s Faith Hill. And that ain’t a bad thing!

You can catch Neko Case at this year’s Golden Plains festival.

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Album review by Golden Lady