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Friday, March 17, 2006
LISTENING POST: CD REVIEWS
Neko Case "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood"
"Everything's so easy for Pauline," croons Neko Case on the opener of her new album, and the same could be easily said about Case. Since her 1990s debut with Canadian pop-punks Maow, the talented American chanteuse has had little trouble garnering praise for her work with The Corn Sisters, The New Pornographers, and as a solo performer.
On "Fox Confessor," her fourth album, Case expands her brand of alt-country with gospel, blues, folk, pop and traditional country twang. Her soaring vocals rightfully remain at the forefront of the music as lush instrumentation provided by members of The Sadies, Calexico, Giant Sand and The Band fill out a collection of late-night, barroom ballads.
Soulful, and at times haunting, her free-form compositions are packed with fantastic imagery. It may be hard to figure out the cryptic tales behind the spell-binding "Star Witness" and the dark "Dirty Knife," but you'll be highly entertained while trying to do so. With her goose bump-inducing voice, if Case's output stays this good she'll soon find her own name among the classic country & western starlets that she pays homage to.