Neko Case handles production on her latest LP, Hell-on, but she is not without help. Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn & John is credited as a co-producer on 6 tracks, with Beth Ditto, Mark Lanegan, k.d. Lang, Laura Veirs, Joey Burns & more also assisting. The result is a rich, colorful collection of songs, both "most accessible and most challenging." Musically, the arrangements are probably some of the poppiest of her career, but Neko Case's distinct & enigmatic way of storytelling & songcraft is still very much at play, which warrants repeated listens and contemplation. That very element is what makes Hell-on so good, you can really get lost in the layers of "withering self-critique, muted reflection, anthemic affirmation" that Neko Case so poetically lays out. Check out the title track and "Bad Luck," an upbeat rock tune she wrote after learning that her house had burned down ("chipped my tooth on an engagement ring, and that's bad luck."). "Curse of the I-5 Corridor" is another highlight where Neko Case thinks back on growing up and wandering into her life as a musician.
- triple gatefold sleeve
- two custom inner sleeves & heavy credits booklet
- peach marbled vinyl
- music label: Anti- 2018
reviewed by rei kwondo 06/18