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Hell-On Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

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  • Summary: The latest full-length solo release for the singer-songwriter features contributions from Eric Bachmann, Joey Burns, Beth Ditto, Doug Gillard, Kelly Hogan, Mark Lanegan, k.d. Lang, AC Newman, and Laura Veirs, was self-produced with co-production on six tracks with Bjorn Yttling of PeterThe latest full-length solo release for the singer-songwriter features contributions from Eric Bachmann, Joey Burns, Beth Ditto, Doug Gillard, Kelly Hogan, Mark Lanegan, k.d. Lang, AC Newman, and Laura Veirs, was self-produced with co-production on six tracks with Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn & John. Expand
Buy On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Jun 1, 2018
    100
    Hell-On, Case’s seventh album, addresses [when a newspaper invaded her privacy] at the hands of selfish writers and cruel men--and finds Case asserting the facts of her life with daring candour and wit.
  2. May 29, 2018
    90
    Hell-On is incredibly dense and eclectic; each moment sonically plays up Case's lyrics and her inimitable delivery--which can turn from tough to vulnerable, to casually wry and to siren-esque within a few lines. It's chock full of delicious attention to detail.
  3. Jun 7, 2018
    90
    With Hell-On, Case has once again given herself an ideal showcase for her talents as a vocalist, songwriter, and producer; it's lush but intimate, and one of the strongest and most satisfying records she's delivered to date. Which, given her catalog, says a great deal.
  4. 80
    Hell-On is one of Case's moodiest solo records to date.
  5. Jun 1, 2018
    80
    It’s a richly realised record and one that is as powerful a statement in support of Case’s measured musical expertise as it is her long-established prowess as a lyric writer.
  6. 80
    “Sleep All Summer,” which features Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann brings his harsh vocals to the forefront of the track, which unfortunately make it challenging for Case to standout. But it’s a small flaw in a gorgeously curated record that reveals Case is never really done reinventing herself.
  7. Mojo
    May 24, 2018
    60
    Images both earthy and heavenly make repeated showings, but case's vexing concern is troubled humans. [Jul 2018, p.88]

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jun 11, 2018
    10
    Mesmerizing, her best album yet in my book. No other artist creates like Neko, whimsicaly juxtaposing Lynchian dystopia with joyouslyMesmerizing, her best album yet in my book. No other artist creates like Neko, whimsicaly juxtaposing Lynchian dystopia with joyously unrestrained pop sing alongs, in the same song! As a producer, she doesn’t clutter the soundscape, she lets the songs and instruments breath. Those male voices are a welcome texture in her aural nebula too. And of course, that voice of hers... On this album, you discover Neko with every listen, and you only want to discover more. Expand
  2. Jun 2, 2018
    10
    One of those albums that is good on first listen, but with every additional listen you hear more and more. A lyric nugget, an evocative sound,One of those albums that is good on first listen, but with every additional listen you hear more and more. A lyric nugget, an evocative sound, a hint more insight into Neko Case. Expand
  3. Jun 28, 2018
    10
    This is the kind of album that in an ideal world should sell tons and make Ms.Case a bazillionaire.

    Neko Case's 8th album of original solo
    This is the kind of album that in an ideal world should sell tons and make Ms.Case a bazillionaire.

    Neko Case's 8th album of original solo music is one of those albums that reminds me of classic recordings from the past like REM's Automatic for the People, Paul Simon's Graceland, Peter Gabriel's So. An "alternative" artist can go along making cutting edge recordings and then they come out with something that is all "sweet spot", to use a tennis metaphor.

    The limitation of many “alternative” recordings is that the artist has so much attitude that it can make for not much beyond a clever, detached ironic experience. She started out very much in the alt-country mode, and for me her stuff had emotional resonance as well as smarts at that point, but then she gradually moved away from that roots-y template becoming both more pop but also more precious and arty, lyrically and conceptually, she essentially withdrew emotionally and hid behind her intelligence - which is considerable - not to mention her anger - also not inconsiderable.

    Well she has let down her guard and produced something on which everything falls into place. The social commentary and feminist anger are present and accounted for, but she has delivered them in her finest, most beautiful and poetic lyrics ever, and in a batch of songs which are both edgy, melodic, and emotionally resonant. She’s still an alternative artist, but these songs are as organic and natural as the air we breathe.

    Devotees of her more alt-country stuff, of which I am one, may still find this to be unsatisfying, there’s nary a country song in sight, but for those without that narrow a perspective, this is the kind of album that transcends genres and contains the soulfulness and passion of the early alt-recordings, if not the surface twang.

    Fervent fans of her albums from Fox Confessor to The Worse Things Get might well see it as the latter album with chocolate coating, since it sports similar concerns and obsessions but in a much more poetic yet “accessible” package. So it may be seen as a commercial move, but there’s no compromise here, she hasn't dulled her edge, it's just that this time while being as hard as a diamond, it’s just as beautiful.

    So one is moved to want to hear the songs again and again and I believe more motivated to hear her concerns. This album works for me on every level that matters, lyrically, melodically, and emotionally, from first song to last, I can't recommend this album highly enough, go buy it, go buy it now.
    Expand
  4. Jul 9, 2018
    10
    Neko's best yet. Consistently great from opening track to final cut. Love "Gumball Blue" "Sleep All Summer (duet with Eric Bachmann), "Lion ofNeko's best yet. Consistently great from opening track to final cut. Love "Gumball Blue" "Sleep All Summer (duet with Eric Bachmann), "Lion of Albion," "Dirty Diamond" "Oracle of Maritime." Expand
  5. Aug 30, 2018
    9
    By far her best. Extremely thoughtful lyrics. Every track is really strong. A must have.

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