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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 25 March 2006
Neko Case is a busy goddess, flitting between work with the prolific outfit The New Pornographers, the odd mini-LP mail-order, a live recording and her own solo career (...sadly no continuation of the rather sexy pics Case made a few years ago...you can't have everything!). 'Fox Confessor...' continues the progression 'Blacklisted' made on the earlier material recorded with her then Boyfriends, 'The Virginian' and 'Furnace Room Lullaby.' I've been hooked since John Peel played 'Twist the Knife'- the sound of Case's last solo LP fitted into the Americana rubric, somewhere between country, gospel,roots and soul and fitting into the same universe as Daniel Lanois' work with Emmylou Harris. Where Neko with the New Pornographers is like Debbie Harry hanging with The Knack on a Brian Wilson tip, Ms Case's solo career exploits her gorgeous vocals. Bessie and Patti...and down the line there is Neko.
As with 'Blacklisted', Case co-produces with Darryl Neudorf, composing all the songs, and with an able supporting cast including Calexico (Joey Burns and John Convertino - formerly of Giant Sand), The Sadies, Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), Kelly Hogan (more of her sexy background vocals!), Paul Rigby, and on several tracks, Garth Hudson (formerly of The Band and contributor to records by Mercury Rev, Norah Jones, & The Secret Machines new one!).
I've only listened to 'Fox...' a few times, but like certain records - Cat Power's 'The Greatest', Laura Veirs' 'Carbon Glacier', Emmylou's 'Stumble from Grace' - all of which feel like relatives, this is one of those undeniably wonderful records. Highlights thus far...well all of it, but the ones that stand out for me are 'Star Witness', 'Dirty Knife', 'That Teenage Feeling', opener 'Margaret Vs. Pauline' & the title track. Songs like 'A Widow's Toast' take feel not far from Jolie Holland and the Be Good Tanyas, but given a Lanois-style treatment.
'Fox Confessor..' is undoubtedly one of the highlights of 2006, certainly going to be amongst my favourites alongside 'The Greatest', the new Low LP, Giant Drag's 'Hearts & Unicorns', the new Drive By Truckers & Willard Grant Conspiracy and the Loose Fur LP. Let's hope Neko tours the UK soon - and maybe somewhere like Birmingham where I would have the pleasure?
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on 15 March 2006
Having had flashes of greatness on her past four albums, Neko Case has finally produced a work that is consistently great. Twelve dark jewels dangling on a charm bracelet, each song is exquisitely composed and intricately shaped. As ever, the vocal work is unparallelled, like a more palatable Loretta Lynne or a less cloying Patsy Cline; on the gospel barnstormer John Saw the Number the delivery is reminiscent of Elvis on tip top form in its vitality.
This album really sees Case come into her own as a songwriter. While previous albums have included one or two great original songs and plenty of others that were simply very good, FCBTF contains only great songs. From the tale of inequality and envy of the opener Margaret Vs Pauline right through to the touching tale of a lost companion of the closing track The Needle Has Landed the album is shot through dramatic imagery, dark humour, and emotive sentiments. Aided by by a stellar cast of musicians, the tracks are realised to fantastic effect.
Really, even if you are put off by the country label, you should check this album out. It is, put simply, brilliant. Almost indecently so.
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 17 April 2006
The gorgeous Neko Case is a busy vixen - since 2002's 'Blacklisted' she has released the mini-LP 'Canadian Amp', toured some, appeared on two New Pornographers albums ('Electric Version' & 'Twin Cinema') and released a live album 'The Tigers Have Spoken' (sadly she hasn't advanced the glamour pic side of her persona!). 'Fox Confessor Brings the Flood' is the follow-up proper to the wonderful 'Blacklisted', featuring many of the souls who contributed towards that: Kelly Hogan, Calexico, Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), Darryl Neudorf (here co-producer with Neko - previous co-producer Craig Schumacher contributes also), as well as folks like The Sadies, Rachel Flotard and former Band-member Garth Hudson - who not only got a wave of new life from last year's Dylanfest 'No Direction Home' but has also played with Norah Jones, Mercury Rev and Secret Machines.

It could be seen that 'Fox Confessor...' returns the more traditional flavours of 'The Virginian' and 'Furnace Room Lullaby' - there's more old-time country and gospel here than 'Blacklisted.' Those who don't appreciate the more traditional side of things may not like this so much, though there's plenty of Daniel Lanois-style Americana (think 'Wrecking Ball', 'Oh Mercy') on the title track. & Like Cat Power's great 'The Greatest' there's plenty of soul too - 'Star Witness' being a key example of that. Perhaps Ms Case has decided to emphasise the more traditional side of her sound to distinguish her solo career from her parallel studio career with The New Pornographers (they have a different female vocalist live).

Alongside the aforementioned Lanois/Emmylou Harris, there are reminders of Kristin Hersh, Mary Margaret O'Hara and the McCarrigle sisters - all good stuff. 'Hold on, Hold On' is co-written with The Sadies and sounds positively anthemic and the kind of song you need to ground you in these times. The album as a whole is steeped in that timeless Biblical language - the title track veers off into experimental guitar territory with some Old Testament vibes that have been related to Hurricane Katrina. It's one of those albums - like Julian Cope's latest or The Flaming Lips 'At War with the Mystics' that fits very well to the zeitgeist - though I'm sure it's timeless too...

'That Teenage Feeling' sounds like a Morrissey-song given a 'Wrecking Ball'-work over - while 'A Widow's Toast' showcases a minimal gospel side - just Neko and Paul Rigby on guitar. Perhaps opener 'Margaret vs. Pauline' is the definitive song here - Hudson's contribution to this and 'Maybe Sparrow' is excellent...

'Fox Confessor...' is another great record from Neko Case and certainly a highlight of 2006- though if Americana ain't your thing and you're expecting New Pornographers style alt-pop, best stay away...'Fox Confessor...' stands alongside other great albums from great females this year - Cat Power's 'The Greatest', Isobel Campbell/Mark Lanegan's 'Ballad of the Broken Seas' & Beth Orton's Jim O'Rourke-produced return to form. This album also has one of the great album covers, if that kind of thing matters to you...
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on 22 May 2006
I happened to find out about Neko Case by off chance i was out shopping in the west end and went into a shoe shop where they was playing this album after walking around the shop for about 10 minutes and hearing a couple of songs me and a friend decided to ask the cashier who it was she said it was Neko Case and told me the name of the album. I purchased it the same day got home and was disapointed at first but after giving it a few listens and putting it on my mp3 player and listening to it where ever i went i fell in love.

1.Margaret Vs. Pauline - I honest can say i thought this was so cheesy for some reason. A song about two women with a grudge for each other always tryna out do the one another as much as they argue or what have you they envy each other a cool song but not accessable as some of the others 9/10

2.Star Witness - Now this is a song that i loved straight away it's a great one and a clear favourite it's also the longest clocking just over 5 minutes to me maybe this song is about a man who is a witness to a horific car accident and keeps it to himself. I can't stress enough how great this song is 10/10

3.Hold On, Hold On - It just reminded me of Mama Cass (from the mama's and papa's) it's not the greatest song but it can be quite enjoyable the lyrics dont really jump out at you and beg them for you to listen 6/10

4.A Widow's Toast - It's so short but so great one of the best songs it's an tribute to dead husbands Case taps into the darker parts of the psyche.A very haunting and touching piece of music thats so simplistic thats very much acapella with only a few strokes of the guitar every now and then 10/10

5.That Teenage Feeling - Another haunting song (think its something to do with her voice)it sounds like an old Emmylou Harris song with a modern twist it's enjoyable about the carefree days of being a teenager in love 10/10

6.Fox Confessor Brings The Flood - To be honest i have no idea what that means lol A rocky song to say the least her vocals are really mournful seems to be about a man she met had a fling and never saw him again cool song 7/10

7.John Saw That Number - Dubbed by many reviews ive read as the best song on the album i don't know i beg to differ it's the most upbeat thats really it.It has a gospel-like quality (not just coz Johns a bapist lol) i mean it's an ok song but its by far not the best 9/10

8.Dirty Knife - It builds into an eerie, murderous folk ballad I dont really listen to it much but that's because i find it really disturbing i'm playing it as im writing and it just isnt a good feeling but the thing is about this song like many of th e other is that Neko's vocals are great she really has a striking voice 8/10

9.Lion's Jaw - Is something straight out of Emmylou Harris songbook it's a fantastic downtempo country song it sighs and sways like a romantic `60s pop ballad it's one of my favourite i enjoyed this one alot 10/10

10.Maybe Sparrow - After searching Neko's website i got to see the video for this it was cool and went very well with the song it feels quite intense her voice plays a big part in the atmosphere of the song one of the finer moments 10/10

11.At Last - A very short song now, i've listened to this one a few times now (iTunes says 14) and i can't make head of tail of it and it's so frustrating i came to the conclusion that i like it coz it's a mystery 10/10

12.The Needle Has Landed - A fine way to end the album on a high very impressive reminded me of Aimee Mann and the most "rock" song here i love her vocal's she sings with such passion another great song the strings at the end are beautiful 10/10

Top 5

1.A Widow's Toast

2.Star Witness

3.The Needle Has Landed

4.Lion's Jaw

5.That Teenage Feeling

Probably the most obscure album in my entire collection i like this album alot and will be buying her back catalogue
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on 21 May 2009
It was pure accident I came upon this particular album. I was cd hunting in a record store in Copenhagen, when the cover caught my eye; a faun-like female standing with the head of a girl and surrounded by foxes. And at that point I knew I had to own this album. I'd never heard of Neko Case before, but I took the chance and I've never regretted it. It completely blew my mind!

I've always loved country music, but this is an amazing mix of traditional country, folk, a bit gospel and indie. The compositions are captivating, playful and entirely beautiful. There's a melancholic sound to it, but I won't call it depressing; the music combined with the range of her characteristic voice just has an ability to lure you away from whatever you're doing and make your mind wander.
If you decide to buy this album (and you should), do yourself a favour and listen closely to it, not just the music but also the lyrics. The atmospheres and feelings she portrays in her tales really get under your skin and prove her competence as a songwriter.

Some people don't get my fascination of Neko Case, but I guess that's just because they are caught up in mainstream and their country-dislike and won't see the beauty of her music. I hope you will. It will penetrate you.
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on 9 September 2006
Neko Case's voice feels like it lives in a realm of its own. It's such sheer magic to listen to. However, the songs are just as engaging. The combination of personal experiences and folklore make this an enchanting listen, forcing you to take notice. Lyrics conveying loneliness, vulnerabilty and hopelessness albeit underneath the effortless music and voice, which is the reason why this album is so affecting.
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on 11 March 2008
I started listening to Neko stuff chronologically and was very impressed (fell in love) almost straight away.When I first heard fox confessor I thought the big slide was on.But no!!! After playing the C.D casually(once a month) for a year and a half it started to really grip me.What a woman!What a singer!! What a songwriter!!!! What a producer!!!! Every second of this thing is pure magic.I know she gets a lot of help from her boyfriends but when something is this good it can only be down to one person in the end.I really can not express my feelings about this "wonder" except by saying it makes me weep with joy.Sorry,I had to say that.Purchase,and play for atleast six months.I'm a slow learner and needed nearly two years.
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VINE VOICEon 11 June 2006
I had never heard of Neko until a mag. compilation album included a track from this album.

I was drawn by the voice which just demands you listen.

The music is alt. rock country. A combination that works very well and the style is something that i feel will become very popular.

Neko is a name that will become very well known, and this album is the one that should do it if there is any justice.

I will definitely be delving into her back catalogue.

Buy this album, you will love it!
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on 31 January 2016
what a voice, what a songwriting, what an underrated album
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on 20 February 2007
You will not be able to stop playing this album - the songs stay in your head for days. Clever, moving lyrics with great musical arrangements. Although some of the lyrics are quite dark this is not a miserable record. In fact I found myself smiling at some of Neko's words and just nodding my head in agreement. A great talent and a great album - check her out live!
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