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13 Reviews Found
So it's three in the morning. It's July hot. And you can't sleep and you take a walk down to this lazy black-watered river, and you sit yourself down on the west bank, staring east as a waning moon in its latest quarter starts to rise, floating upward in the haze, and you have Neko Case's unsettling "Blacklisted" on your portable stereo, listening through the headphones as she sings in this soul-shattering voice about "Things That Scare Me" and "Deep Red Bells." And when on "Stinging Velvet" she sings about cold and shivers, suddenly you begin to shiver too, and you think maybe a ghost ship is going by but it's probably just a trick of what small light there is. You hope so, anyway. So you go on listening and by the time Neko gets to "I Want I was the Moon" you look up at the waning crescent that's seen grander days moving westward and maybe now you smile. I hope so, anyway. And when Neko finishes up, with "Ghost Wiring" you know this is something strange and wonderful, and so you play the CD all over again and by now the sky is getting a touch lighter as the sun starts chasing the tattered old moon, and you're feeling warm again, and you shut off the stereo and head back to wherever you came from, and maybe you're thinking you'll never hear this on the radio and you're sort of glad. "Let it be my secret, you think."It's not alt anything it's all Neko.
To limit Neko Case to the category of country or alt-country would, I think, miss the point. Her work with Fresh Pornographers should indicate that her musical interests and influences are more wide-ranging and, consequently, deserving of broader attention. Which is not to diminish the quality of the country-inflections of this album, for they are country in mood and timbre, not in artifice or image. The effect is one of authenticity--personal authenticity, that is, not an "authentic" recasting of something someone else has done 's tempting to state that she possesses the best voice going, but that's a matter of taste and opinion. Objectively, though, she uses her voice to communicate the notice of her songs to amazing effect, which at once demonstrates the unquestionable talent, emotional maturity, and sonorous depth that a lot of strive for but few achieve. I go back to the word 'authentic.'The sound of her voice is not unfamiliar, maybe because her range demonstrates vocal similarities with other well-known vocalists, but what Neko Case lacks is a quality that could ever cause her voice to become tiresome. Other singers with comparable talent, such as Natalie Merchant (though I don't mean to be unkind), seem to believe their hype or go to the well one too a lot of times and end up infusing every performance with an exploitation of the vocal quirks that first caught our attention. After a while, it becomes cloying, like an Eddie Van Halen guitar ko, on the other hand, is special but not merely quirky, and seems to be intent on sharing her musical journey through life by refusing to be anything but genuine about her private shortcomings with a voice that apparently has none. I have a wicked crush....
I've loved this album for more than a decade, so I consider the possibility to own this gem on vinyl to be an irresistible one. But I must admit that the reverb (which is wet and deep on the vocals) adds a touch of distance on the LP. That's funny, as the instruments are dry and right up on this album. Ah, but the limited edition vinyl comes with a card, and that takes you to 320k MP3s! If you have a digital player or a media center, this is the ver you really want. Not good Apple, with its 256k AACs. I don't mean to damn it with faint praise, but don't pass up the LP for sentimental reasons, and definitely don't pass up the card; that's pure gold!
I'll create it short and sweet.I have recently become aware of Ms Case's work and after reading reviews purchased this remaster.What I have observed on my stereo and begun to read up on is what is known as loudness battles where the volume of every frequency on every track is effectively maxed out during the mastering process which also results in a substantial loss of dynamics and compression of the music. If I understand correctly no artist wants to have the quiet sounding song played after anther artists loud song, because of what is know as Psycho Acoustics, the brains reaction to loud is "hey that sounds better" I'll that artist. Hence the battle to sound the loudest on the bar's stereo or on the radio regardless of the cost in quality.I played this CD right after a Windham Hill guitar sampler called Touch that I also just e difference in dynamics and sound quality is obvious, I use my volume control to create the melody louder if needed, rarely above 3 or 4 on the 20 scale, so I can always turn it e difference is also visible and obvious on my dual bank spectrum analyzer equalizer. The Case Cd a lot of or most frequencies are pegged at max level across most of the audible spectrum, this means the highs and lows have already been truncated on the cd, the sound isn't there. On the Windham Hill recordings, the bars reside near the bottoms of the scale rarely reaching the top and only for the shortest bursts of energy.I think Ms Case is an A list talent, but I hope she turns off the processing on her attractive voice, she doesn't need it, and tells the Mastering Engineers that she wants Dynamics not Loudness so the people that actually her melody for home listening obtain a amazing audio experience and not some maxed out flat sounding album with processor controlled voice.If she puts Blacklisted back out minus all of the processing and with dynamics, I'll definitely give it another try.
Amazing. One of my favorites. You'll be hardpressed to search a more atmospheric record. It doesn't matter where you are, "Blacklisted" finds you late at night, alone? Demonized? Are you in the desert, the prairie, the mountains? Surely with a glass of rocket fuel in different stages of fullness.
I don't write a ton of melody reviews, but BLACKLISTED is one that merits it. I wish to scream it from the rooftops. It is THAT arently I'm 10 years late to the party, as BLACKLISTED came out in 2002. I heard a few seconds of "I Want I Was The Moon" playing on the credits of the present TRUE BLOOD. I kept it there and listened, then immediately went and Googled the lyrics to see who it was.I got the CD here on Amazon the next week, not knowing what to expect. It is a SOLID album, amazing all the method through. There are no dud songs on it, nothing to quick forward through. There is a cohesiveness, a mood to it, which is pervasive throughout and holds it together. Sonically it all sits well together, too. Somewhat minimal drum recording but with some interesting rhythms. The guitars are nice and organic, acoustics and huge reverbed up hollowbody electrics. Amazing bass, often upright it sounds like. The vocals are beautiful, as are the e lyrics are great, very non-standard in a stream of consciousness kind of method - yearning, haunting, e song "Deep Red Bells" about the Green River Killer: "Who led you to this hiding place? Whose lightning threads spun silver tongues? The red bells beckon you to ride - and hand print on the driver's side. It looks a lot like engine oil, and tastes like being not good and little - and popsickles in summer ... does your soul cast about like an old paper bag, past empty lots and early graves? Those like you who've lost their method murdered on the interstate while the red bells rang like thunder". If that evocative imagery coupled with her voice doesn't give you chills, I don't know what s not just eerie - in a song like "Tightly" its also romantic imagery: "When I'm walkin in the dark I'm to covet all I want, you've created it all so very risky - I can't stay away. And when I'm walkin under trees I'm to covet all I please - fresh moon's in the alley and its madness...calls to me"Bottom line, there is nothing I dislike about this album. Except possibly that I didn't obtain to play on it ;-) I'm a fresh fan and in the few months I've discovered Neko Case, BLACKLISTED and a few of Neko's other discs have been in steady rotation.
This is quite possibly one of Neko Case's finest albums. Most of the songs are cohesive and the brilliance that shines through with her vocals is just phenomenal. There were so a lot of songs on this album that got me through difficult times or that I could just belt along to because the notice was so strong and e sound definitely fits into the category of "Americana", but has its own attributes that are special to Case's vocals. I recommend this album or "Furnace Room Lullaby" if you really wish to catch the best of her voice.
Writing with clarity about such an extensive part of American history is quite a daunting task. Writing objectively about such a vitally necessary subject as freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution is even trickier. What Larry Dane Brimner has accomplished in his recent book about the Hollywood producers, directors, screenwriters and others who were robbed of their rights by our very own Congress in the 50s is to tell a bold story that resonates today with all of us. Brimner is as objective as he can be in presenting his data. After Russia embraced a Communist method of governing, some Americans joined the cause. The U. S. Congress, in particular, a group of Congressmen who feared the spread of Communism to our shores, looked into Hollywood’s role in spreading this doctrine. They went about their find by calling 19 men in the industry to come before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Un-American Activities, but what the heads of this committee did was to practice un-American activities themselves in demanding that these 19 men speak about their private beliefs. When the men refused, citing the First Amendment’s right to individual freedoms, they were accused of un-American activity. Brimner did not state it as such, but his research and all of the evidence he contains in this well-organized treatment of injustice, present that these men were not afforded their rights as citizens of this country. The men faced obstruction of justice charges, served time in prison, were fined, blacklisted and ostracized by the very people for whom they had earned lots of and some even lost their families. Photographs present the men in a dozens of poses and settings. They are as strong as they are telling. Most of the 19 never wavered from their private beliefs, and Brimner captures their opinions in the myriad quotations, documents, telegrams and other help features important to tell a real story. The movie, Trumbo, told the story of one victim of this travesty extraordinarily well; however, to learn about the outcomes for all 19 men, one must read this book. It is a gem of a nonfiction st Read Literature: K thru YA gives this book its highest rating.
Blacklisted is a thoroughly researched and thoughtfully presented book. While aimed at upper middle school and high school students, adults will search it a amazing read. A huge number of historical characters and complex Congressional hearings are kept quite comprehensible. If you love to study history and have a keen interest in the movie industry, this book is for you. Also, it certainly makes one create comparisons with the globe we live in now.