Neko Case's The Worse Things Get... (An Album Review)

Posted by on Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Neko Case's The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You feels like:

A combination of loud and soft.
Like she knows life sucks but she wants to carry you through it.
Like "old" Neko Case but a little tougher. Her voice is bare, raw, and clear (so beautiful)
A mix of beautiful and ugly (but in a good way)

Apparently, she suffers from depression and experienced a lot of death while making this album. Instead of breaking her down, all of her trials toughened her up. Neko Case is someone I would want to have on my side during hard times, which I guess I kind of do. That's the good thing about music, huh?

The Worse Things Get... calls to mind Fiona Apple's last album. It is a beautiful listen, the lyrics are wonderful, but it sometimes get a little dark, but in a welcomed and humorous way.

For example, in "Night Still Comes" she sings "I revenged myself all over myself" and "Did they poison my food? It is cause I'm a girl? If I puked up some sonnets, would you call me a miracle?"

"Man" is one of my favorite songs of the year. It doesn't hold back. The music (lyrics and instruments) are very powerful. This is the perfect single; it got me pumped to hear the rest of the album. It demands attention from the get-go.

A lot of the songs discuss gender, and what it means to be a woman, a man, or just a human in a screwed-up place, I guess. In "I'm From Nowhere" she sings,  "I was surprised when you called me a lady/ 'cause I'm not so sure that's what I wanna be/ 'cause I remember the 80's/ and I remember it's puffy sleeves/ You say I'm lucky to be here/then maybe you can take this over/and I'll gladly wear the pants into the next century/Past the scanners with ease."

"Nearly Midnight, Honolulu" feels like a really great summation of the album. It discusses motherhood using dark and seemingly funny lyrics, with her voice against a blank backdrop. The story goes through a boy's life from when he was a kid and his mom told him to "get the f*ck away from me." It could have been a really good album ender; as such, "Calling Cards" creeps up pretty slowly and is kind enough to let you take in what you just heard.

"Afraid," which is a Nico cover, feels like a choir song, except she is the only one singing. "Beautiful" is kind of a cheapened term, but that's what it is. This song makes me feel like I'm in a huge chapel; I'm alone, but I'm not really alone.

I love this album, and I can't wait to buy it. I give it one billion stars.

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