2002’s Blacklisted was singer-songwriter Neko Case’s third solo album and the one that really struck a nerve with critics. This album introduced the dominant sound of her next several releases, including my favorite, 2006’s Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.
Case is the whole package. She pens memorable melodies and evocative lyrics, creates soundscapes in a ghostly alternative bluegrass style that sounds like nobody else, and has one of the best voices in the game.
Here’s a typically moody southern gothic track from Neko Case’s 2002 album Blacklisted. The whole album has this great sound.
Today’s track — the title cut — is a quick little poem that seemingly uses a train as a metaphor for a person who won’t settle down. That’s how I read it, anyway.
What’s unclear to me is how this song fits its title.
Neko Case is one of those artists who can’t quite crack my “must listen” list even though everything she does sounds great.
The major exception is her 2006 album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, which broke through to hold a spot among my favorite albums of that decade.
But the albums she’s released before and since just haven’t had the same lasting appeal.
Top Ten Female Vocalists – #3 – Neko Case
As I pointed out last week, four of the ten women on my list of favorite vocalists have ties to the country genre (here’s number three). And I was a fan of three of them even before my Brad Paisley-inspired entrance into country music fandom.
I suspect that’s more than a coincidence… I surmised earlier that country music tends to leave a little more room, sonically, for vocals. But maybe there’s a directness and emotional honesty in those songs that makes the voices more appealing.