65. “The Tigers Have Spoken” by Neko Case

As my friends know, when I like something – I really like it. Once it was Allpoetry.com, a site featuring terrible poetry by terrible poets. I posted poems that were as bad as I could write and people told me they loved the imagery. I would comment on the worst of the worst and tell the authors they had a career in poetry. I read really bad poems aloud to my friends, laughing hysterically the whole time. I was obsessed with it for at least a month.

Right now, it’s The Tigers Have Spoken, a live album by Neko Case.  I listen to it over and over and over. It’s been a week and I haven’t listened to anything else. And it’s been a diverse week, too – rainy days, sunny days, days of paper writing. The tigers have spoken eloquently to me in every situation (sorry, sorry, I know).

:and the cover art is cool:

Neko Case, of the New Pornographers, always meant indie-rock to me. My heart lies more with Americana, so I was never a huge fan. But this album is folky, country-y, and even kinda rockin’. Case covers Loretta Lynn’s Rated X (absolutely fantastic), a Buffy Sainte-Marie song (Soulful Shade of Blue) and a smattering of good ol’ American folk standards. Case’s voice lends itself beautifully to country music. I was pleasantly surprised to hear such musicality from a New Pornographer.

Her covers really stand out. Rated X is unbelievable and has been in my head all week. Soulful Shade of Blue is also fantastic. Country legends should be proud to hear such covers of their songs. I imagine that a lot of these covers are boring as shit, but Case is clearly having a lot of fun – and her voice has SOUL, man. Case’s own songs are also really good. The first song, If You Knew, is a perfectly bitter way to start the album. Favorite is a bit country. It features a great banjo, which of course endears me to the song.

Speaking of the banjo. I absolutely love the banjo on this album. It’s used exactly as the banjo should be used – as a pure and simple enhancement to a great song. It’s mostly Scruggs-style picking, and I LOVE IT. I love it. Any album with good banjo is an A+ in my book. Unfortunately, it’s not played by Neko. But Wayfaring Stranger features some great walking banjo pickin’ and also a crowd sing-along – another tug on my folk-strung heart.

:bad. ass.:

Overall, the album is great. It’s not too soft and gentle – it’s kinda rockin’ most of the time. Like good ol’ country and honky tonk. Loretta Lynn obviously influenced Case a lot on this album. There’s also a lot of beauty and the right amount of gentility when it’s called for. With catchy tunes, fantastic pipes, and a banjo, Case hits it out of the park on this one.

:and she's a redhead, too. i am in love.:

December 3, 2009. Music, Rectangles, Websites.

One Comment

  1. dmhamby2 replied:

    Neko’s music rarely sounds like the work she does with the New Pornographers, partly b/c she writes her own material and sings the other writers material in Newpo. Neko has said that when her friends turned to punk she found her true voice and “outsider” feel in classic country. So if you liked “Tigers” you should really give her “Live From Austin, Tx” album next. My fave records of her are “Middle Cyclone,” and “Fox Confessor Brings the Flood” but those are a bit more indie rock in spots than Americana…

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