Sunday, October 11, 2009

2006 : 15-17 Aught Music Roundtable: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood by Neko Case

"Star Witness"

This has one of my votes for the best song of the decade, not just for 2006. As stunning as her voice is, Case earns major credit for her songwriting talent. This is a loose "homage" to the rough Chicago neighborhood of Humboldt Park, and it's staggering how she can take such haunting moments and turn a complex poem into a beautiful song.

Hey pretty baby, get high with me
We can go to my sister's if we say we'll watch the baby,
The look on your face yanks my neck on the chain.

The first time I heard this, I played that last line at least ten times in a row, rewinding my CD a few seconds back. Forgive my hyperbole, but it's a punch in the stomach everytime I hear it. Songs, poems, and books are full of metaphors, but that one is literally perfect, both in the delivery and the context of the track.

Jamie Yates

"Maybe Sparrow"

I'll be honest: I still don't really know what this song means, or even if it's supposed to mean anything. The album is laced with mythogical animal imagery, so this is appropriate. I love how Case's voice rises, along with the music, to create a stunning chorus:

Oh, my sparrow, it's too late
Your body limp beneath my feet.

I always get very reflective whenever I hear this track. It's so short, yet packs some dizzying arrangements and atmospheres. As I type this, I realize that this description could fit quite a few of Case's songs. It's very difficult to explain, but this track is the one I would use to explain to anyone why Case is my favorite female vocalist. I guess that's the beauty of great music: it moves me in definite ways that, as a writer, I'm at a loss to express.

Jamie Yates

"Fox Confessor Brings The Flood"

At some point in 2006, all of my friends were listening to this Neko Case album. Some how it turned into the soundtrack of San Jose. It was weird because it was not radio or television that was sharing it. I am not sure how other people found it, but we all found it. It was everywhere and it felt good.

Rich Thomas

Listen: Neko Case >> "Star Witness" | "Maybe Sparrow" | "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood"

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