Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
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The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

by Neko Case
     
 

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The cover photo for 2009's Middle Cyclone found indie rock civil defense siren Neko Case warning the masses of potentially deadly weather from atop the hood of a 1967 Mercury Cougar. It was a striking image, and one that perfectly captured both the album's quiet might and her distinctive Patsy

Overview

The cover photo for 2009's Middle Cyclone found indie rock civil defense siren Neko Case warning the masses of potentially deadly weather from atop the hood of a 1967 Mercury Cougar. It was a striking image, and one that perfectly captured both the album's quiet might and her distinctive Patsy Cline-meets-Rosie the Riveter allure. Once again barefoot and wielding a samurai sword, Case squares off against a trio of serpents on the front jacket of 2013's like-minded, yet decidedly more adventurous The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, a 12-track horn of plenty that taunts, comforts, bruises, and empowers, and like all of her previous offerings, rewards repeated spins with a multitude of riches. Her most vulnerable and permeable collection of songs to date, it's not quite Neko Case unchained, but it's certainly as emotionally raw as it is willfully enigmatic, especially on quieter numbers like "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu," "I'm from Nowhere," and an airy, evocative cover of Nico's "Afraid," all three of which benefit from the barest of arrangements. That said, when Case decides to go big, she doesn't skimp on the trimmings (guest spots are populated by the likes of M. Ward, Howe Gelb, Mudhoney's Steve Turner, and members of Calexico, Los Lobos, My Morning Jacket, Visqueen, and of course, the New Pornographers and longtime shadow Kelly Hogan), but her version of opulence is mired in great taste, which affords superb, midtempo offerings like "Night Still Comes, "Ragtime," and "Local Girl," straight-up dirt road rockers such as "City Swans," and the punk-infused, delightfully subversive single "Man" ("I'm a man, that's what you raised me to be/ I'm not your identity crisis/This was planned") the room they need to flex their considerable muscle while maintaining an air of warm, almost casual bombast that invokes names like Sandy Denny and Dusty Springfield. It's some of her most instantly gratifying work as well, perfectly encapsulating all of her personas, from the erudite, whiskey-shooting provocateur to the sweet and soulful, small town crooner who sounds like she was plucked from the pages of a novel set in the antebellum north. Case has proven time and again that she has the songwriting chops to match her earthy, superlative voice, but never with such authority.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/03/2013
Label:
Anti
UPC:
0045778717125
catalogNumber:
87171
Rank:
2768

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Neko Case   Primary Artist,Guitar,Tambourine,Vocals,Background Vocals
Marc Ribot   Piano
Steve Berlin   Flute,Baritone Saxophone,MIDI Sax
Joey Burns   Bass,Cello,Guitar (Baritone)
Kelly Hogan   Background Vocals
Steve Turner   Electric Guitar
Tom Ray   Bass
John Convertino   Drums
Kurt Dahle   Drums
Craig Schumacher   Chimes
Jon Rauhouse   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Pedal Steel Guitar,Trombone,Electric Guitar
Jim James   Background Vocals
Carl Broemel   Autoharp,Electric Guitar,Soloist
Rachel Flotard   Background Vocals
Jacob Valenzuela   Trumpet
Martin Wenk   Trumpet
Tom Hagerman   Violin,Viola
A.C. Newman   Background Vocals
Paul Rigby   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar
Bo Koster   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Clavinet,Mellotron,Vibes,Wurlitzer,Melodeon
Tracyanne Campbell   Vocals

Technical Credits

Kenny Siegal   Engineer
Neko Case   Composer,Executive Producer,Artwork,Art Direction,Drawing
Craig Schumacher   Engineer
Tucker Martine   Engineer
Chris Schultz   Engineer
Chris Testa   Engineer
Paul Rigby   Arranger,Composer
Donny Phillips   Photo Assistance
Amy Lombardi   Photo Assistance
Nate Homchick   Construction
Kerri Borsuk   Photo Assistance
Kathleen Judge   Artwork
Christa Päffgen   Composer
Austin Vesely   Photo Assistance
John Askew   Engineer

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