Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood

I first came across Neko Case (well, as a solo artist at least) when her track Twist The Knife was number one in John Peel‘s Festive 50 in 2000 (I got back into listening to him when I bought my flat for some reason – go figure). If you are not familiar with this track, do yourself a favour and seek it out. Amazing.

And, much as the album this came from was OK, nothing quite reached the same giddy heights. Since then she’s worked extensively with the likes of Calexico and, while releasing some interesting work, never quite fulfilling the potential/expectations.

Until now, that is. Fox Confessor Brings The Blood finally delivers the Case we’ve been waiting for. Is this an album of stone cold classics to challenge Twist…? No, of course not. Has she made any major stylistic departures. Nope. Howie Gelb, Convertino et al. present and correct. But, it just all seems so much more coherent this time round.

The styles vary. A Widow’s Toast is a weird take on the southern spiritual. That Teenage Feeling is a dreamy (the only word) last dance at a 50s prom night. The awesome John Saw That Number which can only be described as glam-stomp gospel country, performed by the Pengiun Cafe Orchestra (and, a slight resemblance to Happy Hour by The Housemartins). But, they could only have come from this album.

The band on here are wonderfully subtle. All the drama comes from her vocals everything else backs it up beautifully. Again, I find myself fascinated by the keyboard work. Beginning to suspect this may be come an unhealthy obsession.

Seriously uplifting stuff.


Written by Tony Kiernan

10 March 2006 at 4:16 pm

Posted in Records

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