Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Neko Case: The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You [Anti-, 2013]
Now 42 and three years past her most readily parsed solo album, Case confesses that the mortality she's seen in the interim moved her to write more confessionally. That seems to mean, although no one's talking, not just lyrically but melodically and structurally, which translates to more parsably still. There are hooks here, folks, and literalism fan that I am, I say they're most effective on the strictly reportorial "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu" and the lost-love "Calling Cards." Favorite metaphor: "Man"'s "I'm a man." Favorite obscurity: "You never held it at the right angle." A-