Neko Case’s “Hell-On” Is Harrowing and Absorbing

Her gorgeous melodies deliver tales of trauma, disappointment, and sadness.

Album Review

Neko Case
Hell-On
ANTI-

Neko Case has such a strong, commanding voice that it’s hard to see how she could convey vulnerability, but Hell-On brims with sadness and regret. Her alt-country roots long are since forgotten—this riveting art-pop work mixes gorgeous, unpredictable melodies with inventive, sometimes oblique lyrics to tell stories of trauma, disappointment, and sadness. “Bad Luck” ponders love’s failure, while “My Uncle’s Navy” revisits a chapter of abuse and denial and “Curse of the I-5 Corridor” offers a rueful personal chronicle. Along with her usual bandmates, the gifted support team includes k.d. lang, Mark Lanegan, Beth Ditto and Steve Berlin, though Case would be just as compelling performing a capella. A cohesive album in the old-fashioned sense, Hell-On is a harrowing and absorbing experience unlike anything else.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate