Middle Cyclone

Studio Album by released in 2009
Middle Cyclone's tracklist:
This Tornado Loves You
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The Next Time You Say Forever
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People Got a Lotta Nerve
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Polar Nettles
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Vengeance Is Sleeping
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Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth
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Middle Cyclone
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Fever
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Magpie to the Morning
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I'm an Animal
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Prison Girls
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Don't Forget Me
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The Pharaohs
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Red Tide
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Marais La Nuit
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Middle Cyclone review

One of the best creations Neko Case’s discography

The American singer Neko Case is one of the most original and independent performers in the modern music world. Her unique music combines the elements of country and folk but more than that it contains the singer’s personal inventions expressing her attitude to life and people. Known as the first vocalist of the band The New Pornographers she is popular also in Canada. At the beginning of spring Neko’s sixth studio album Middle Cyclone is released and follows the 2006’s splendid record Fox Confessor Brings the Flood on which her original approach to music was especially revealed. Unwilling to hide her light under the bushel Case continues to surprise the audience on Middle Cyclone, too. The entire album is devoted to the theme of nature and various types of hurricanes in particular and offers both original material and a number of covers perfectly matching the work’s concept. Positive and very beautiful, Middle Cyclone is sure to find itself among the best creations Neko Case’s discography.

An utterly inimitable album Middle Cyclone

Though Middle Cyclone is quite similar to the previous record in the respect of content, this album has its own peculiarities making it utterly inimitable. First, a barn on the farm that Neko has recently bough has been used as the studio. Second, a whole piano orchestra of 8 pianos is involved in the instrumental background creating excellent harmonies. Third, a whole constellation of guest stars has taken part in the recording, with the likes of M. Ward, the members of The New Pornographers, Los Lobos, Calexico and many others. Besides this is quite a long work, almost an hour and a quarter, the longest track lasting half an hour. The record opens with an impetuous song This Tornado Loves You at once reminding how great Neko’s vocals sound in combination with a quality guitar accompaniment and The Next Time You Say Forever is the shortest and most complicated song on the album. The first single People Got A Lotta Nerve is remarkable for a memorable tune, soulful singing and interesting lyrics whereas a slow and thoughtful track Vengeance Is Sleeping conquers with successful back vocals and a simple acoustic guitar accompanying them. Ron Mael’s cover Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth and the title track can be considered the central pieces on the record; grandiose former and minimalist latter, both of them contain important messages concerning the attitude to nature's powers. The sounds of organ and a complicated percussion have refined another highlight I'm An Animal while the cover of Harry Nilsson’s song Don't Forget Me pleases with a rough piano accompaniment. Finally the album closer is a half-hour recording Marais La Nuit which Neko made on a pond near her farm and here the nature is really living.

A decisive and self-confident Neko

Neko was born in the state of Virginia to the family of Ukrainian teenagers who had the surname Shevchenko before she was born. At the age of 15 she left home and soon went to Canada to study in college and began performing with various punk bands the last of which was The New Pornographers. Pursuing a solo career Case has been always faithful to her principles of being independent in making her own music and thus never made it to a major label unwilling to lose the greatest part of control over her creations. She is not seeking any commercial success or world fame. The only thing she wants to do is to express herself raising important issues in her music and know that it influences people changing them to the better. The album Middle Cyclone is certainly aimed at that. Except for the content definitely deserving praise the record can boast a cover art that has also been highly acclaimed. A fragile girl swaying a sward on the hood of a muscle car has impressed everyone who has seen it and its symbolism leaves no doubt how decisive and self-confident Neko Case is.