Friday, June 26, 2009

2001 : 11 "Knock Loud" by Neko Case

Ten years have passed
Since you walked out of my life
But late last night in the pharmacy
You were in the line in front of me
So I ran away to hide

A lot of reviewers call Neko Case's voice "plaintive", but I don't think that's quite accurate. Plaintive seems to apply more to the cowboy poets she obviously reveres, the thin-voiced men who sing time after time their lonesome lives. Case's voice is too rich and full in comparison. The best word for it might be "yearning". Her songs are bursting with desire: for love, for the things she's lost or can't have, for change, for solitude.

Interestingly, because it fits so well with the canonical themes of her own music, this is a cover song. The original songwriter is Sook-Yin Lee, a Canadian performer who is probably more familiar to many readers as Sofia, one of the lead characters from the movie Shortbus. This song would have fit quite nicely on the soundtrack for that film, thematically. Case's plea for the listener to find her in bed is more about longing and loneliness than lust.

Angela Smith

Listen: Neko Case >> "Knock Loud"

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