|1. Things That Scare Me|
|2. Deep Red Bells|
|3. Outro With Bees|
|4. Lady Pilot|
|6. Look For Me (I'll Be Around)|
|7. Stinging Velvet|
|8. I Missed The Point|
|10. I Wish I Was The Moon|
|11. Runnin' Out Of Fools|
|12. Ghost Wiring|
From indie roots in Vancouver's Maow, Case has steadily turned a love affair with Nashville (and Loretta Lynn in particular) into a career that's wholly her own. Recognizing talented co-conspirators is already an established talent for her (the last album, Furnace Room Lullaby featured Ron Sexsmith) and this time she's wisely teamed up with Giant Sand/Calexico luminaries Joey Burns, Howe Gelb and John Convertino. Along with Mary Margaret O'Hara guesting on backing vocals this adds up to a fabulously dark slice of future folk. Whereas Gelb and Co. have the dry desert textures of Arizona as their touchstone, Neko utilises an eery early-hours-insomnia spaciness in the production, to bring to mind whistling pines in a deserted northern forest.
Brian Connelly's baritone guitar recalls a Twin Peaks-style murderous undertone, especially on ''Deep Red Bells'' and ''Tightly'', and it's this aspect of Case's work that impresses most. In the same vein as tour-mate Nick Cave she employs a disturbingly accurate 50s retro feel to subvert her very modern tales of distrust and displacement. On ''Look For Me (I'll Be Around)'' her voice (and what a voice -all Rosemary Clooney meets Shelby Lynne) soars over toothsome vibes and vibrato guitar in a way that just makes one think of soda pop, truck stops and menace - all at the same time. If further proof were needed as to her abilities, it's not everyone who could take on an Aretha Franklin standard (''Runnin' Out Of Fools'') and come away with their head held high. She does.
This isn't to say that Blacklisted strays too far from a country template. Opener ''Things That Scare Me'' is as valid a contemporary take on Bluegrass as any Union Station track you'd care to mention, while ''Stinging Velvet'' has all the best music row licks buried in its heart. It's just marvellous that America still has the ability to revitalise its indigenous art forms. Another blow against those who equate country with stultifying conservatism. Rednecks beware -these currents run deep...
Like This? Try These:
Giant Sand - Cover Magazine
Lambchop - Is A Woman --Chris Jones
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It is very difficult to over praise this great record.
The album has some top guests on it- nameley Joey Burns (Calexico/Giant Sand), John Convertino (Calexico/Giant Sand) & Howe Gelb (solo artist/Giant Sand)- who add a textured atmosphere beyond that of Case's previous Boyfriends. Things that Scare Me is the meeting point of Emmylou Harris (in Wrecking Ball/Red Dirt Girl mode) and Kristin Hersh's great Hips & Makers. Deep Red Bells even more gorgeous- the whole album is sublime- faves thus far include Tightly, Stinging Velvet, Ghost Writing etc...
Blacklisted is deep dark enchanting stuff that ranks next to great albums by Mazzy Star, Shivaree, Tanya Donelly & The Walkabouts. It is one of the albums of 2002 and ranks next to the key releases of this year; how come the world isn't as besotted with her as I appear to be? Really, one gaze at the album cover and the sound of the first track and it's over: give yourself up...
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