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Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

Neko Case

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Album Review

Neko Case hasn't had much need to prove her credentials as a major artist since making her solo debut with 1997's The Virginian, but she's been refining her skills in the recording studio on each subsequent release, and with 2006's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood she's fashioned an album that can cautiously be called a masterpiece. As always, Case's voice, an instrument of impressive strength, grace, and expressive power, is the star of this show, and she's never sounded better than she does here, but what sets this apart from her other fine work is her growth as a songwriter and producer. Case wrote or co-wrote all 12 tracks on Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, and her tales of failed friendship, faith stretched to the breaking point, and love that causes as much ache as comfort are subtle and expressionistic but deeply evocative, conjuring images and feelings that linger long after the album has ended, especially the spectral "Star Witness," the moody yet romantic "That Teenage Feeling" and "Hold on, Hold On," and the darkly beautiful closer, "The Needle Has Landed." And Case and her co-producer, Darryl Neudorf, have assembled a superb cast of musicians to accompany these songs, among them members of the Sadies and Calexico as well as Garth Hudson of the Band, Howe Gelb from Giant Sand, and Kelly Hogan. Together they've sculpted a dozen elegant sonic landscapes that are beautiful and richly detailed while meshing with the moody textures of the songs in their open space and unwillingness to crowd either the singer or the other players. The cumulative effect mirrors both the beauty and the sadness that lurks within the human heart, and Fox Confessor Brings the Flood is a rich, mature, and deeply satisfying piece of music that deserves and demands attention — if this isn't Album of the Year material, it's hard to say what is.

Biography

Born: September 08, 1970 in Alexandria, VA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Alternative country singer/songwriter Neko Case won a steadily growing cult audience for her smoky, sophisticated vocals and the downcast beauty of her music. Born in Alexandria, Virginia, Case moved around often as a child, spending the largest part of her youth in Tacoma, Washington. She left her parents at age 15, and three years later she started playing drums for several bands on the Northwest's punk rock scene. Case moved to Vancouver in 1994 to enter art school, and simultaneously joined the...
Full bio