Bonus!!!  As much as I like the idea of doing this whole alphabetical thing, and as useful as the act of actually going through every single song in my library has been, sometimes I just want to, you know, listen to music. 

So I'm sitting at work, humming a song to myself, and I think, "hey, I should listen to that record.  No, wait, I can't, I have to get through...whatever is next up on my list."  It's true, I actually thought that, which is, you know, dumb.  Crazy.  Ridiculous.  "To hell with that," I think, "I'm listening to what I want to listen to."  Again, it's true, I actually thought that. 

So, not actually a "bonus," just a slight course change for today.  Herewith.

Neko Case, "Middle Cyclone" - 5 stars.  Dig it.

I'm not sure how I found Neko Case, although I have two copies of one of her songs in my library, one as a single and one as part of this album, which makes me think my first exposure was from a Starbucks freebie card.  In any case, she's flipping awesome, a brilliant songwriter that just so happens to have a spectacularly versatile voice, capable of a whispering sexiness ("Polar Nettles", "Fever" - hoo, boy...that one grabs me), straight crooning ("Vengeance Is Sleeping"), or straight-ahead alt-pop lead-singer-ey stuff ("People Gotta Lotta Nerve"). 

I could listen to that voice all day; I may or may not be deeply, deeply in love with her based on the voice alone.  "This Tornado Loves You" (one of my favorite song titles ever, by the way) and "People Got A Lotta Nerve" are both on my iPod running mix and I never skip either one.  A greater endorsement I cannot imagine.

It's not a perfect record.  There are a couple of songs that I tend to skip.  Still, pretty terrific, and they all stay.

Neko Case, "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood" - 4 stars.  Dig it.

More of the same, really - just a terrific album.  It does go into a semi-eclipse late, but the final song - "The Needle Has Landed" is a delight.

Oh, and also?  Not wild about the cover.  Someday I'll write something about music packaging, by which I mean actual, physical packages, as opposed to "packaging" in the sense of Taylor Swift "packaging" her "brand" or whatnot.  Yet another thing that digital music has changed for the worse.  Anyway, I can't look at the cover without thinking that the woman has this big, long hairdo, and it makes me like the record just a tiny bit less.  I'm weird.


AuthorMatthew Riegler