The Tigers Have Spoken

Neko Case

Anti Records, 2004

REVIEW BY: Sean McCarthy


So, the bad news in 2004 was that Neko Case's solo release was not a follow-up to her excellent 2002 release, Blacklisted. If you believe that live albums are an excuse for bands to milk more revenue from their fan's pocketbooks, then my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Tigers Have Spoken will need to win you over.

The Tigers Have Spoken was recorded in Chicago and Toronto with her crack backup band, The Sadies. The track list of The Tigers Have Spoken automatically sets it apart from most live albums: only one song is from her last two albums. The rest of the songs are rarities and covers.

The covers include Buffy Saint-Marie's "Soulful Shade of Blue" and Loretta Lynn's "Rated X" (she returns the favor by doing a cover of the Nervous Eaters' Loretta Lynn-worshipping "Loretta"). The final two songs are staples of her excellent live shows: "This Little Light" and "Wayfaring Stranger."

Case's new (or rare) material almost matches the quality of her covers. "If You Know" is a caution by a woman to her lover not to see a woman who threatens to ruin their relationship. "The Tigers Have Spoken" has a good backstory, which Case explains at the end of the album to the crowd.

Neko Case's background in punk, country and rock translate into a memorable concert experience. The Sadies add a loose, low-fi style, which enables Case to fill in the gaps with her gorgeous vocals. You may not get the concert experience with a CD, but The Tigers Have Spoken comes close to capturing a Neko Case show.

Still, The Tigers Have Spoken is merely a very good live album. It's not as memorable as more definitive albums, such as the Cowboy Junkies's 200 More Miles or Johnny Cash's prison recordings. It's a good primer for folks new to Case's music and a great purchase for those who have never seen her live. But in the end, The Tigers Have Spoken is a forgettable album… a beautiful, euphoric, forgettable album.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2005 Sean McCarthy and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Anti Records, and is used for informational purposes only.