Neko Case: The Worse Things Get . . . (Anti)

 |   |  <1 min read

Neko Case: Man
Neko Case: The Worse Things Get . . . (Anti)

This album's full title – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You – barely hints at the emotional depth, anger, passion and soul-baring on display from someone who comes out bruised but swinging: “Fat-fingered bullies were no match for me . . . you'll have to deal with me” she sneers on the furiously jagged pop of Man with brittle guitar by M. Ward.

Telegraphing song titles include I'm From Nowhere and Afraid.

There is gentleness on Calling Cards (although the “blah-blah” suggests there was nothing worth waiting for in the messages) but most nerve ends are raw here, as on Local Girl with its broad-brush refrain “all of you lie about something” as backing vocals chant “shame on you, all of you”.

And on the musically disconcerting Where Did I Leave That Fire (“I wanted so badly not to be me”). Case doesn't spare herself, but sometimes nor does she others.

On Nearly Midnight, Honolulu she witness a distraught mother yelling at her crying kid, “Why don't you ever shut up?” but Case's response projects and presumes too much. To say the mother didn't love the child is judgmental, shallow, unsympathetic and unworthy.

This was never going to be easy – she lost her beloved grandmother and estranged parents recently – but isn't album-as-therapy, rather a catharsis which pulls you into a contained world.  

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Eddie Reader: Peacetime (Shock)

Eddie Reader: Peacetime (Shock)

The former voice of Scotland's pop hitmakers Fairground Attraction has been a very credible solo act for many years now, but it's a fair bet not too many signed on for her album of songs by the... > Read more

Panther and the Zoo: More Fun (download)

Panther and the Zoo: More Fun (download)

The 2009 EP by this delightfully melodic, Auckland pop-rock outfit Think About It Not Exploding was a mere four songs . . . but was one of those enticing little tasters which left you wanting more.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; The Legacy of Disco

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; The Legacy of Disco

While you expect old folks, conservative preachers and bandwagon politicians to dump on pop music, it's always a bit of a surprise when the music world turns on its own. Punks railing against... > Read more

DUKE ROBILLARD INTERVIEWED (2004): Still in that room full of blues

DUKE ROBILLARD INTERVIEWED (2004): Still in that room full of blues

When you think of Rhode Island, you don't immediately think of it as a crucible of the blues. It's the state north of New York so small you could carpet it, the home of the red chicken - Rhode... > Read more