New Music: Lisa Thomas Explores New Neko Case AlbumSeptember 9, 2013 0 comments Print Article
Four years since releasing Middle Cyclone, her fastest selling, Grammy-nominated album, Neko Case is back with The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You (Anti Records) which dropped last Tuesday, Sept. 3. I spent several weeks with this album upon receiving it from the label and was in no rush to write a review prior to its much anticipated release date.
This album has been toted as Case's “most precise, urgent record to date.” With musical collaborations and guests such as M. Ward, members of the New Pornographers, Calexico, My Morning Jacket and Los Lobos I would have to agree this album is one worth (urgently) checking out. The verdict is still out if this is Case's "most precise, urgent record to date.", but it IS a damn good album worth adding to your collection.
Equal parts experimental pop, rock and folk, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, takes us on a rollercoaster ride of sound and emotions. The track from the album trailer (below) is titled ‘Where Did I Leave That Fire’ which Neko states as making her feel like she was living in a submarine so she had submarine noises added which give the track a haunting ambiance. I don't find it as haunting as I do somewhat ordinary, but the song overall is still beautiful with stellar lyrical content. What I most definitely do not find ordinary on the album is the guitar work by M. Ward on the album's leading single "Man". You have musical perfection once you pair his signature guitar sound with Case's brilliant lyrics "I'm a Man, that's what you raised me to be / I'm not your identity crisis, this was planned," Case sings. "If I'm dipshit drunk on pink perfume then I am the Man in the fucking moon, because you didn't know what a Man was until I showed you." Saturated with sharp wit, honest and true lyrics and lined with M. Ward's ballsy riffs this track will not only give you chills, but make you think about how silly stereotypical gender roles have become in today's climate. In an interview with Billboard, Case stated, "I'm in a world that doesn't really think it's very normal to be single, not have any kids and be a straight American woman in her 40's. It's like 'Are you crazy? Why don't you have these things?' I had to go through all of my personal paperwork and go, 'I really did choose that. I own it." This brave statement in itself clearly shows the listener what Case's heads pace generally was when setting the tone with her most recent piece of work.
Boasting eleven original new songs and one cover, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You is the direct result of Neko's four year “embarrassing and hilarious march” into her own psyche which she willingly describes as “a brain wilderness more dense and dangerous than I thought. I feel like I kind of fixed my engine. I went and got a rebuild from Chevy, with all new parts. I've got a nitrous button now, I'm back. I think I just want balance. I want to be equal parts man and woman, no matter what I am at the gynecologist."
With the help of self-expression, therapy and medication Neko Case is no longer trapped in questioning her every move or some mid-life crisis. This album shows her confidence level at its highest and willingness to continue progressing not only as an artist, but a human being deserving of love and happiness. She is working on a follow-up album and currently on the road in support of this newest release. Jacksonville, you can hear Miss Neko Case on Friday, October 25th at Ponte Vedra Music Hall. I will definitely be there. Who wants to go with me?
Love and Good Things
New Music Editor
Lisa Suzanne Thomas
"MAN" from the album "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You"
"NIGHT STILL COMES" from the album "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You" by Neko Case
NEKO CASE ALBUM TRAILER for the album "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You"