Friday, January 12, 2007

#2- Neko Case- Fox Confessor Brings The Flood

With the possible exception of Ys, no album released this year sounds like it had as much time and effort put into it as Neko Case's Fox Confessor Brings The Flood. Of course I have no way of knowing that, but just listen to this thing - every single lyric moves Case's prose forward, every single instrument was recorded beautifully and no instrumental lick sounds out of place. With the help of longtime collaborators The Sadies along with members of Calexico, Garth Hudson of The Band and Howe Gelb of Giant Sand, Case has carefully crafted her most impressive album to date - a beautifully dark piece of Americana and one of the year's best albums. Case's lyrics occasionally outshine her angelic voice - something completely unthinkable prior to this album's release. Even when she does explore the upper registers, she does it tastefully, purposely coupling the intensity of her performance with the emotional climax of her songs' characters ("Go on, go on, and scream and cry..." on "Star Witness" and "Those who will not hear the words" on "Maybe Sparrow").

The album's short length has drawn criticism that Case never fully develops her musical ideas, but I see it another way. No breath is wasted on Fox Confessor Brings The Flood. Efficiency is lacking from music these days. Case gets in, says her peace and gets out without stuffing her songs with unnecessary fluff to get them to the four-minute mark.

Neko Case- Maybe Sparrow
from Fox Confessor Brings The Flood


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