In 2009 it’s anyone’s guess which album will “break” an artist. It could be a placement in a viral iPod Nano commercial, a segment during the Olympics, soundtrack placement, or in some rarer cases a consistent output of solid material. The latter is the case with the March release of Neko Case’s latest LP, Middle Cyclone.
Debuting at #3 on the Billboard charts the first week of its release, garnering both sales and critical kudos, Cyclone is unique, and admirable, in that it ostensibly makes no artistic concessions to directly affect either. Within the album’s fifteen tracks there are seemingly no radio-friendly unit-shifters to be found — well, no more or less than her previous output (as if to highlight this point, the final track on the album, “Marais La Nuit,” is nothing but a field recording capturing 31 minutes of frogs croaking and crickets chirping). In the increasingly vapid pop-culture-everything world of ’09 such critical/commercial achievement leaves me feeling both impressed – and hopeful – for future legitimate artist’s mainstream “crossover” potential. High five, Neko Case.
MP3: Neko Case :: People Got A Lot Of Nerve (CBC Radio3 Sessions)
MP3: Neko Case :: Hold On Hold On (CBC Radio3 Sessions)
MP3: Neko Case :: Middle Cyclone (CBC Radio3 Sessions)
MP3: Neko Case :: Vengeance Is Sleeping (CBC Radio3 Sessions)
MP3: Neko Case :: That Teenage Feeling (CBC Radio3 Sessions)
Amazon: Neko Case – Middle Cyclone