It’s a pretty substantial leap from Carter to Neko Case. Gone is punk-laced cynicism. Up pops too-cool-for-any-school chanteusery.
Neko is on par with Conor Oberst in terms of her prolific nature and willingness/ability to jump genres, bands, roles with apparent ease.
This album was her breakout album, and the only one of hers I possess. There is no strong justification for its loneliness in my collection. I listen to it regularly and relish bathing in her dulcet tones.
Case almost sits outside musical genres here. She is notionally a country-singer, but much of this material is lush with strings aplenty and occasional keyboard flourishes.
Case’s voice is given ample room to soar. Unlike so many other female vocalists in this domain (Blasko, Wainwright etc), her vocal stylings are restrained and respectful of vowel-pronunciation norms.
The imagery in the songwriting is mesmerising without being difficult or overly obscure. The phrasing is beautifully matched to the rhythms. Nothing is ridiculously catchy, but soon each tune will have lodged itself somewhere in your psyche.
I suspect Case has always been one of those folks who intimidates all around here with her talent and other-worldness. But I’m glad she shares tunes like this with us:
File under: Luscious lupine lullabies