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Neko Case 

Fox Confessor Brings the Flood


Neko Case
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
(Mint)
Just how Neko Case does it is anyone’s guess. She works with one of the most exciting bands to come along in awhile, The New Pornographers, and she keeps putting out these solid records of her own. The latest — the provocatively, if not obscurely, titled Fox Confessor Brings the Flood — tops everything, though. This disc is a follow-up to her previous three full-lengths and one EP (The Virginian (1997), Furnace Room Lullaby (2000), Blacklisted (2002) and Canadian Amp (2001)). They, as well as work she’s recorded with Carolyn Mark as The Corn Sisters, stand up solidly, but this new album towers over the musical landscape. The biggest breakthrough arguably comes from her use of diverse tempos and times, throwing those in with the more familiar country-waltzed rock sounds that helped establish her. The opening track, “Margaret vs. Pauline,” sounds like an outtake — but an outtake the artist was wise to include. The song is a sheer delight. Case sings “Everything is so easy for Pauline,” as the first line, with a strumming acoustic and a scurrying jazz piano riff, and a whole story, like a film’s theme song, opens up from there. A short couple of tracks later, “Hold On, Hold On,” showcases her skill for the moody, brooding pop guitar number. Case layers her vocal harmonies for the spare “A Widow’s Toast” for that far-off-look effect. The title track envisions a drive along the fields turning into a fantastical journey of the mind, great pastoral rock/pop like you’d have heard decades ago from REM or more recently by The Weakerthans. This sounds like a watershed record.
—Sean Flinn
categories: Coast pick,Canadian artist

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