I won't pretend to be the biggest fan of Neko Case. In fact I haven't all that much attention to her solo career knowing her most notably as one of the all star members of The New Pornographers and her subtly spectacular guest spot on The Dodos' No Color and yet when her latest single "Man" from her upcoming album The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, I found myself intrigued. Not only because the title had a very Fiona Apple rambling air about it. I had essentially put off checking out Neko Case's solo material for years and I planned on righting this wrong immediately.
Though I had really only spent time with Middle Cyclone, in "Man" I could instantly see her appeal and what fans would surely be clamoring more for on the upcoming album. "Man" continues Case's shifting gender focus and manages to avoid what you might write off as just a silly schtick by actually being pretty damn good. That's not to say there's anything comedic about Case writing/singing from a male point of view, rather it'd be easy to pass up if described to you by someone who has no idea what's going on here. Featuring the tasteful guitar talents of M. Ward, the track is a rollicking rock jam with just the right ounce of ear-catching pop mastery to ensure it stays in your head from now until forever after hearing it. It's highly enjoyable, simple as that.
So, clearly I've made a huge mistake. Neko Case's solo output is not to be ignored because it's far better than any/all of her collaborations. Case engages in interesting concepts and masterful melodic play and now I feel damn ashamed I hadn't listened to her sooner. Here's hoping actually listening to The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You when it actually comes out with redeem me somewhat. With the album out September 3rd on ANTI-, I have plenty of time to listen to her whole back catalog and if you haven't, you should too. You won't regret it, I assure you.