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Blacklisted

Neko Case

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Album Review

While the spare and often haunted sound of Neko Case's home-recorded Canadian Amp EP seemed at the time like a late-night detour from alt-country's leading songbird of the North, listening to Case's first full-length album following Canadian Amp suggests it may have been the first step along a new and different path for her. Blacklisted is a considerably darker and more understated affair than The Virginian or Furnace Room Lullaby, and its sometimes stark, sometimes elegant 3 a.m. sound is informed as much by pop, jazz, and blues flavors as the country & western-slanted melodies of her first two solo albums. Which isn't to say Blacklisted is a total departure for Neko Case; her big, bold, but silky smooth voice is still a thing of beauty, and if anything, she's still learning more remarkable things she can do with it, with the result being some of her finest and most insightful performances to date. And Case continues to grow as a songwriter; penning most of the album all by herself, Case is a lyricist willing to answer to both her heart and her head, and she had a fine ear for a melody to boot. With Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico, Howe Gelb of Giant Sand, Dallas Good of the Sadies, and Kelly Hogan all contributing to Blacklisted, Neko Case has crafted an album whose quiet drift only adds to its power; it's hard to say if hanging out with Nick Cave on tour had much of an influence on her, but this disc sounds a bit like Case's version of The Boatman's Call, a personal exploration of the heart and soul that proves sad and beautiful can often walk hand in hand. Highly recommended.

Biography

Born: 08 September 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...
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Blacklisted, Neko Case
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