.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/neko-case-1377617035.jpg The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You

Neko Case

The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You

Anti-
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
September 3, 2013

Once merely a third of the New Pornographers' indie-rock-Avengers front line and a solo act with country-rock leanings, ginormous pipes and comedy-club-stage banter, Neko Case has grown into one of America's best and most ambitious singer-songwriters. Her perfectly turned sixth LP deals with identity and autonomy; it's got feminist musculature and the dirt of a working musician under its fingernails. The lean ballad "I'm From Nowhere" addresses road-life loneliness; ditto "Local Girl," an Aretha-echoing gospel-rock lament. Things amp up on "Man" (chorus: "I'm a man/That's what you raised me to be") and "City Swans," with a hot solo from My Morning Jacket's Carl Broemel. Case's vocals have never been more adventurous. She turns "Afraid," written by her near-namesake Nico, into an existential affirmation of self-worth. And "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu" is a multitracked a cappella ballad about transcending childhood abuse whose tenderness somehow survives a surreal choral arrangement of the line "Get the fuck away from me." Which goes to confirm: Case remains one remarkably tough broad.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Santa Monica”

    Everclear | 1996

    After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com