14 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Part Patsy Cline, part David Lynch, Blacklisted is a tense, torchy masterpiece for which the label “alt-country” seems pitifully inadequate. Set under the low, uneasy skies of the Pacific Northwest, where serial killers roam, blackbirds fry on wires, and planes flown by lady pilots reel in the sky, the album showcases not only the naked power of Case’s remarkable voice but also one of the most evocative musical visions in pop today. Other than a pair of covers — including a furious version of Aretha’s “Runnin’ Out of Fools” — the songs here are all Neko’s. Slow, minor-key, and soaked in layer upon layer of reverb, they employ moody time signatures, Hawaiian slide guitar, pump organ, Wurlitzer, and upright bass in a lush blend of country, blues, jazz, and soul that wouldn’t sound out of place coming from a Philco radio. The best of a very fine bunch is “Deep Red Bells,” with its sinuous rhythms, booming baritone guitar, and characteristically spooky, elliptical lyrics. And then there’s that voice, a force of nature if ever there was one: big, untrained, simmering with emotion, it could carry an album much less sophisticated than this one. It’s a credit to Case that her musicianship and her ambition live up to the size of her pipes.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Part Patsy Cline, part David Lynch, Blacklisted is a tense, torchy masterpiece for which the label “alt-country” seems pitifully inadequate. Set under the low, uneasy skies of the Pacific Northwest, where serial killers roam, blackbirds fry on wires, and planes flown by lady pilots reel in the sky, the album showcases not only the naked power of Case’s remarkable voice but also one of the most evocative musical visions in pop today. Other than a pair of covers — including a furious version of Aretha’s “Runnin’ Out of Fools” — the songs here are all Neko’s. Slow, minor-key, and soaked in layer upon layer of reverb, they employ moody time signatures, Hawaiian slide guitar, pump organ, Wurlitzer, and upright bass in a lush blend of country, blues, jazz, and soul that wouldn’t sound out of place coming from a Philco radio. The best of a very fine bunch is “Deep Red Bells,” with its sinuous rhythms, booming baritone guitar, and characteristically spooky, elliptical lyrics. And then there’s that voice, a force of nature if ever there was one: big, untrained, simmering with emotion, it could carry an album much less sophisticated than this one. It’s a credit to Case that her musicianship and her ambition live up to the size of her pipes.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
114 Ratings

114 Ratings

theKFBs ,

Neko's moody masterpiece

BLACKLISTED is Neko's moody masterpiece! Although 2006's FOX CONFESSOR BRINGS THE FLOOD is her commercial breakthrough [admittedly it will be interesting to see where a Billboard ranking lands this "Lady Pilot"...'cos she flies fierce & free of any musical rules & regs] this is her finest & most fully realized collection.
The best description I can offer for BLACKLISTED: a Coen Brothers [Fargo, O' Brother Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men] directed Patsy Cline biopic.
Best tracks: "Deep Red Bells"; "I Wish I Was the Moon"; "Look for Me (I'll be Around)"; "Runnin' Out of Fools" and "Stinging Velvet".
Oh, and consider yourself warned...once you've fallen under the spell of Neko's voice you may never be completely satisfied with another female vocalist. Ever.

Anonym00se ,

Neko.

Everything she puts out is amazing. This is no exception. This album was almost life changing for me. Neko has one of the most beautiful voices out there today, and she writes haunting, beautiful lyrics. My favorites off of this are Things That Scare Me, Deep Red Bells, Blacklisted, Runnin' Out of Fools, I wish I was the Moon, and Ghost Wiring. However, the entire album is wonderful and I highly recommend it.

geezer fly ,

Brilliant

Neko Case quite simply has the clearest, most passionate voice in alternative music. She also happens to be a brilliant lyricist with layers of obscure meaning to support repeated listening pleasure. Try Deep Red Bells, if that works for you the others will follow . . .

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