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Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

4.5 out of 5 stars 140 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 7, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Neko is a major poet by any standard, a songwriter less interested perhaps in traditional narrative form than in distilling a pure moment of time. She claims no genre, nor utilizes any classic formula for her songs and singing. More than anything she thrives in the spaces in between her music. After two years in the making, "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood" is in many ways the sum total of her journey.

Nine seconds into her first studio album since 2002's Blacklisted, and there it is. You can't miss it. The voice. Instantly recognizable and uniquely commanding, it has been uniformly overlooked by the masses and beloved by those who have caught on. And, believe it or not, it gets even better, whether Neko Case is warbling like a porch-swing neighbor to Loretta Lynn ("Margaret vs. Paulene," "John Saw That Number"), pontificating from the spiritual pulpit of Etta James ("Lion's Jaws," "Maybe Sparrow"), or unleashing the high-octane zeal of a power-pop spitfire ("Hold On Hold On," "The Needle Has Landed"). Her uncanny, often eccentric lyrics have always been delivered with an inherent passion behind the impulse, but rarely have they approached the boldness of these dozen--many of which were inspired by generations of tales from her Ukrainian ancestors. As usual, Case's industry running buddies collaborate to make the sounds behind her, from Calexico to Howe Gelb of Giant Sand to the Band's renowned Garth Hudson. Still, it all comes back to the voice, that serenading urgency that asks in the title song, "How can people not know what beauty this is?" Yes, there are some to ask, how not? --Scott Holter

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Margaret Vs. Pauline - Neko Case
  2. Star Witness - Neko Case
  3. Hold On, Hold On - Neko Case
  4. A Widow's Toast - Neko Case
  5. That Teenage Feeling - Neko Case
  6. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
  7. John Saw That Number
  8. Dirty Knife
  9. Lion's Jaws
  10. Maybe Sparrow
  11. At Last
  12. The Needle Has Landed

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Anti
  • ASIN: B000CS4L1E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,564 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Neko Case's stock must be on the rise - I saw this CD on the "new releases" page of the weekly Best Buy ad, the page usually reserved for the likes of Christina Aguilera and Matchbox 20. This may be her "crossover" album into mainstream success, and I'd be crazy to say it isn't well-deserved. There are two sides to Neko - the rockin' singer in the New Pornographers (whose popularity also seems on the upswing), and the countrified chanteuse of her solo albums. She's been compared vocally more than once to Patsy Cline, and that's a fair analogy. Her clear, achy voice rings out through all these songs, which seem generally more folky, and even at times jazzy, than on the previous albums, which were more steeped in country tradition. There are hints of gospel too (the traditional "John Saw That Number"). The strongest tracks for me, hearing this for the third time, are "Hold On Hold On" and "Star Witness". "That Teenage Feeling" is another fine song (I love the illustration for it in the booklet: a runaway tractor-trailer with "I love you" painted on the side.) The cover art is a bit odd in an Edward-Gorey kind of way, and some of her lyrics are a bit surreal. Also, the production is "alt-country reverb", an effect also used by bands like My Morning Jacket - I find it a little annoying after a while. But quibbles aside, there's no masking or denying That Voice, one of the most impressive in pop music right now. And I'm glad she's getting the widespread recognition she deserves.
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Format: Audio CD
i have been a loyal fan of Neko case ever since her voice stopped me dead in my tracks on the song "Twist The Knife" from the Furnace Room Lullabye album. and i have been set to pounce and devour any new album that comes out with her on it. on her earlier works (like Furnace Room Lullabye), she seemed like she was growing into her role as a solo performer and as a singer with a blessed set of beautiful pipes. the music seemed fit for her voice and most of it seemed as though it were written specifically for her in mind (including the cover songs, strangely enough).

then, when Blacklisted came was released, there was a sense of change in the air. nothing in her overall sound was drastically overhauled, but there was a certain "witchy" way that had crept into the sonic pallete. the songs seemed to grow more ghostly, the lyrics a bit more obscure, and the overall atmosphere had garnered a little bit more fog, and more dust.

in this environment, Neko seemed to really find her voice. not the outer voice, but something channeled from deep inside her.

now, with her excellent Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (is that title obscure enough for ya?) album; all the elements seem to have fallen into place and the results are nothing short of spectacular. the opening salvo of "Margaret Vs. Pauline," "Star Witness," and "Hold On, Hold On" are enough to warrant purchase of the album immedietely. each song seems to be woven from a quilt of country music's past greats and yet infuses them with a disctincly hazy, reverb-soaked haze that would make your average David Lynch fan take notice. within these first three songs, there also seems to be a bit of a harmonic nod to older folky bands such as The Mamas & The Papas and The Byrds.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been a long time Neko Case fan (since her first CD back in 1997, The Virginian, won me over). I have been buying all of her CD's since then, but had not purchased "Fox Confessor" right away (I downloaded it from iTunes the day it was released instead). However, once I saw this re-release with bonus tracks and new Artwork, I gave in and bought the disc for my collection. I have no buyers remorse at all.

It's true that the bonus disc just contains some prime cuts from her earlier CD's, but it also contains a previously unreleased "Behind The House" demo.

I love this release, and a few of the songs have become instant Neko classics that she plays live often in her shows, such as "Hold On, Hold On" and "Maybe Sparrows".

All in all, this is an excellent introduction to Neko Case, especially for those that may not own her earlier CD's. The bonus disc contains some real gems from Neko's past, such as "Deep Red Bells" and "Set Out Running". This is also a perfect edition of this CD for any Neko fans that may not yet own "Fox Confessor". Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
With her flaming red hair and imposing good looks, Neko Case strikes an impressive pose, but that's nothing compared to the development of her singing and songwriting over the past few years. This album bathes her strong voice with echoing reverb, making her tales of love and loss seem even more apocalyptic. Case mixes country, folk and pop with an unusual deftness that sets her apart from the veritable army of female singer songwriters on todays music scene, and with backup from the likes of Calexico, one of the finest roots rock groups around, the music meshes very well with the lyrics.

Songs like "Star Witness" and "Margaret vs. Pauline" tackle working class themes and issues without the slightest smirk and are devastating performances. Surprising, yet equally powerful are the gospel influences in the music, most overtly brought forth in "John Saw That Number." But the theme that most pervades the album is one of hope amidst a great struggle, exemplified by songs like "That Teenage Feeling" and "Maybe Sparrow" which acknowledge the hardships of ordinary life but never give into depression or clinched optimism, just small hard won triumphs. This album itself is a triumph of class, dignity and open minded musicians drawing from many different genres and ideas to create an impressive cohesive whole.
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