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on March 13, 2004
There is almost a subgenre of "The next Patsy Clines" and Neko Case falls into that category. She sounds like Mandy Barnett backed by Faithless Street era Whiskeytown. This album is rather like stepping back into a time warp, when music had twang and women had attitude.
The album starts with the mellow two step of "Timber," about falling in love. Next Carl Newman turns up to help with a cover fo the classic "Bowling Green." "Jettison" is a darkly, beautiful stately waltz. Case jumps back into full swing mode for the hillarious break up tune "High On Cruel," complete with back-up vocals from sister Carolyn Mark. "Karoline" is another uptempo two-stepper about the queen of the barroom and the women who want to be her. "Lonely Old Lies" feels like a classic cover, but it was written by Case herself for this album. "Honkey Tonk Hiccups" is another song you will swear she pulled off an album from the 1960's. However, the most stunning track is the title track. "The Virginian" is a haunting melody that sounds more like a Childe ballad than something from the 20th century. This sets up perfectly for her amazing cover of "Duchess." Then she turns back onto a lighter track with her fun loving cover of Ernest Tubbs "Thanks a Lot." She closes the album with a pair of georgous covers, from opposite sides of the love scheme, "Somebody Lead Me Away" and "Misfire."
This is an album of pure, unadulterated, pretty good girl barroom funm, smart mouthed and big shouldered--in that way she is more akin to Loretta Lynn as opposed to Patsy Cline. But definately a heavy dose of old school country with old school attitude.
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on February 22, 2000
I can't keep this great record off my CD player. The songs, the singing, and the playing are all great. After two years, I still find this music fresh. Case has some great songs, especially the weepy "Lonely Old Lies", and her band really can play. Check out the 2nd voice and harmony vocals; they blend so well with Case's vocals; sometimes it's hard to tell who's singing.
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on November 26, 2002
There doesn't seem to be much middle ground with Neko Case's reviewers here--they either love her or they just don't get it. It took a few listens for me, but this album is definitely a winner. She initially won me over with a cover of a favorite Everly Brothers tune ("Bowling Green"), but after a few listens I was equally enamored of "Honky Tonk Hiccups," "Karoline," "Thanks A Lot" and "Timber." All the songs are strong, although I clearly favor the up-tempo numbers. This is the kind of "country" music that simply doesn't come out of Nashville any more (if it ever did). Highly recommended.
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on March 22, 2003
Neko Case introduced herself to the world with this covers-heavy solo debut. There are times on it when she sounds like the second coming of Wanda Jackson, which would be an impressive feat on its own, but she also manages to secure her own sense of personality on the proceedings. Her Boyfriends lend enthusiastic and tasteful support throughout, rocking the house when they need to and reining it all in when the song demands. By the time this too-short album ends with a straight-faced country rendition of Queen's "Misfire", you can't help but believe that Neko Case may one day rule the world.
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on January 5, 2006
Quite possibly the best album every made. I write this 'review' in response (or retort, rather) to the opening line of the amazon.com official review, which starts with, "what Neko lacks..." - HORRIBLE! Allow me to retort. Miss Neko lacks nothing (except a husband last I checked and she can call me if she is reading this). Simply the greatest nuevo honky tonk voice on the planet. This debut album (yeah, it's still called an 'album' even if you buy it on CD) is and always will be, in my humble opinion, a classic slab of the meanest, most sincere and well played music you will find. Words lack the power to convey my love of this women's (WOMEN, not little girl with a record contract) voice. I prefer this freshmen release on Mint Records (the equally talentuous Carolyn Mark's homebase) over later albums precisely for the ubertwang feel. I will not give you a song by song kitchy Rolling Stone styled review, I don't do that and I don't like people that do. Listen to the entire album, that is what records like this were made for. I love the mando and peddlesteel playing, and the album is recorded in an anachronistic, open and airy style - NOT like cheap imitation, polished records which don't hold a candle. I could go on - just get it and listen repeatedly.
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VINE VOICEon November 30, 2004
Those who are into Neko for her "country noir" music will probably be disappointed by her debut album, "The Virginian." Released a good seven years ago, it's pretty straightforward country/rockabilly--and for that reason I find myself playing it a lot more than "Blacklisted." No, it's not the best album ever, but "Bowling Green" surpasses the Everlys' version, "Misfire" is an inspired Queen cover, and "Honky Tonk Hiccups" is a great little original. Well worth picking up if you liked the more uptempo stuff on "The Tigers Have Spoken."
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on September 10, 2001
this is one of the most awesome female singers to come along since patsy cline. rich vocals and a great mix of songs! i got her second CD (furnace room lullaby) and was slightly dissapointed, it lacked the country theme that this CD posesses. if you like country, alt or otherwise, and you like strong female vocals, get this CD. powerful!
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on June 13, 2009
This is not an alternative country album, nor is this a new country album. This is pure, old school, honest-to-god country western music. While Case's later albums define the term "alt.country" and develop an alternate history for country western music, free from the influences of Nashville, this album is something else. This album is what gives Ms. Case the authority to redefine country music on her own terms.

Because on this album, Neko Case proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is the equal of any country western singer of note. Had she been born a generation earlier, we would throw out her name the way we throw out names like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn.

Those who were introduced to Case by her later albums, released ater shed had some mainstream success -- The Tigers Have Spoken or Fox Confessor Brings the Flood -- may find this album off-putting, as the more lyrical and dark touches that define her later work are conspicuously absent here.
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on May 12, 2006
Don't listen to these people comparing this to the album they bought last week. This was a good album when it came out and it is still a good album. Let them keep repeating this country-noir nonsense because they heard some reviewer say it. These reviews are full of repeated nonsense that people read in Spin or Rolling Stone.
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on September 12, 1998
Neko's debut is tremndous! Known as the drummer for the Canadian band MAOW, she steps to the mic and delivers in a powerful voice that rivals that of Maria McKee in her Lone Justice days. Ome of the best root-rock and alt.country albums you'll hear this or any year.
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