Middle Cyclone (-Anti)
The cover of Neko Case’s sixth album has her crouching on the hood of a Mercury Cougar, ready to attack with sword in hand. The songs sound as if they were recorded from that same perch.
She’s taken on an aggressive, breasts-out swagger and yet still retains her reverb-heavy charm. When she threatens to punch someone in the face, it comes off as mysterious and romantic, as always.
Generous, twangy pop hooks make Middle Cyclone a good entry point for those unfamiliar with Case’s style. Quirky melodies and unpredictable, anti-country structures make it interesting over repeat listens. A mid-career triumph.
Top track: People Got A Lotta Nerve