Neko Case has always been something of a chameleon, a woman capable of manipulating her stunning voice into everything from a torchy purr to a bone-chilling wail. On this, her fourth solo album, she manages to work both ends of that spectrum with ease, waxing both faithful (on her reworking of the hymnal staple "John Saw That Number") and faithless (as on the woozy "A Widow's Toast"). Case taps into the darker parts of the psyche more on this album than she has in quite a while, forging an uneasy sort of bond between classic Carter Family murder balladry and post-James Ellroy peeks into society's underbelly. Those two realms merge with transfixing results on "Dirty Knife," a brooding piece that weaves a tale of a family whose members all go insane simultaneously. She's abetted here by a number of collaborators, the most intriguing of them being longtime Band keyboardist Garth Hudson, who adds a brief note of whimsy to the ultimately tragic "Maybe Sparrow" with his swirling organ and brings a ghostly pallor to the Appalachia-scented "Star Witness" with a subtly insistent piano line. Atypical arrangements and instrumentation are the order of the day -- the hammered dulcimer that guides "The Needle Has Landed" is an especially inspired choice -- but at the end of the day, it's Case's voice that hypnotizes, its siren-like allure beckoning listeners far beyond the normal rock 'n' roll breakwall. It's a trip that's worth taking.
Performance CreditsNeko Case Primary Artist,Dulcimer,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Tambourine,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hammered Dulcimer,6-string bass,Tambo Drums,Guitar (Electric Tenor)
Joey Burns Acoustic Guitar,Cello,Bowed Bass,Upright Bass,Guitar (Nylon String)
Sean Dean Upright Bass
Kelly Hogan Vocals,Background Vocals
Garth Hudson Organ,Piano
Dexter Romweber Electric Guitar
Travis Electric Guitar
Tom Ray Upright Bass
John Convertino Drums
Howe Gelb Piano,Electric Guitar
Brian Connelly Electric Guitar
Jon Rauhouse Banjo,Hawaiian Guitar,Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar
Dallas Good Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar,Guitar (12 String Electric)
Travis Good Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Rachel Flotard Background Vocals
Tom V. Ray Bass Guitar,Upright Bass
Paul Rigby Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar,Loops,Guitar (12 String Electric),Guitar Loops
Willie B Drums
Anna DeWolf Violin
Mike Belitsky Drums
Technical CreditsDarryl Neudorf Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Neko Case Arranger,Composer,Producer,Artwork,Audio Production
Steve Chahley Engineer
Paul Rigby Arranger,Composer
Sean Gugula Engineer
Julie Morstad Cover Design,Drawing
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Sometimes someone puts a record out and you just know it will define them in such a way that they'll never outdo it, there will never be one better, it's a career high, and you're just grateful that you have it and can hear it. This is that for Neko Case.
Absolutely wonderful. Beautifully sung, haunting, lyrical -- a welcome departure from the formulaic and mediocre.