Neko Case: Blacklisted

Without Neko Case's voice, Blacklisted would be better-than-average alt-country. With Case's voice, it is moody and haunting and exciting and dark and sexy and scary and powerful and invigorating and... well, just take a listen and add your own adjectives.

Music: 4.5 EPFL library cards out of a possible 5
The musicians play together like old friends sitting around the living room in the wee hours of the morning, and Case's voice wraps everything together like a fireplace and a bottle of cider. Every time I listen, I find a new second-favorite song. ("Pretty Girls" is always my favorite, for it is the moment when everything and everyone on the record gel together perfectly.)

Packaging: 3.5 EPFL library cards out of a possible 5
There's a beauty and desperation in the cover that accurately reflects the music. Case lies seductively on the pavement behind an old van filled with someone's possessions, highlighted in a bright flash that darkens the warm oranges of a cloudy sunset. The text that forms Case's name wraps off of the booklet, which is a really nice touch that you don't really notice until you're holding the booklet. The inside of the jacket is typical indie rock fare. There are no lyrics, which is a shame because I'd much rather read Case's words than look at trite mirror-images of old guitars.

Listen if you like: Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, k.d. lang, Shelby Lynne, Wilco, The Sadies

If it were food, it'd be: That bottle of cider I mentioned a few paragraphs back.


emiliek said...

I l-o-v-e Neko Case. She is an incredible talent. I'm dying to see her live. Blacklisted is a fantastic album...have you listened to Fox Confessor Brings the Flood?

taotechuck said...

I think I'm one of about six people who doesn't absolutely love Fox Confessor. It's good, but I thought it was weak in comparison to Blacklisted.

The album art for Fox Confessor, however, is incredible. It's one of my all-time favorite album covers.