Hell-On

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Hell-On
Neko Case - Hell-On.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 1, 2018 (2018-06-01)
Studio
GenreAlternative country
Length52:44
LabelAnti-
ProducerNeko Case, Björn Yttling
Neko Case chronology
The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You
(2013)
Hell-On
(2018)

Hell-On is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Neko Case, released on June 1, 2018, on record label Anti-. Case recorded the album largely in Stockholm, co-producing with Björn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John.[1]

Overview[edit]

Hell-On was recorded during a tumultuous period in Case's life. While already dealing with serious problems caused by obsessed stalkers, her farmhouse residence in Vermont was destroyed by fire while she was away in Sweden working on the album, leaving her homeless. The recording of the album in Sweden allowed her to focus her energy on something positive and not dwell on these problems back home.[1]

Case promoted the album by touring with Ray Lamontagne.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.9/10[3]
Metacritic85/100[4]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[5]
The A.V. ClubA[6]
Chicago Tribune3.5/4 stars[7]
The Guardian5/5 stars[8]
The Independent4/5 stars[9]
Mojo3/5 stars[10]
Pitchfork7.7/10[11]
Q4/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[13]
ViceB+[14]

Hell-On received universal acclaim from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 85 based on 22 reviews.[4]

In the review for AllMusic, critic Mark Deming praised the album; "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."[5]

Cover art[edit]

Fans and critics have speculated that the fire in the album's cover art represents the fire that destroyed Case's Vermont home, but she has said it's actually completely coincidental. Inspired by the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, she wanted to craft a family sigil. "I decided that my background was so trashy that my family crest would probably have a cigarette butt on it. But I was also obsessed with fake Hollywood cigarettes, so I thought it would be funny to make a costume out of what looked like burning cigarettes", she said of the cover art.[1]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
The A.V. Club Top 20 Albums of 2018
2
Albumism Top 50 Albums of 2018
16
Entertainment Weekly Top 20 Albums of 2018
12
God is in the TV Top 50 Albums of 2018
9
PopMatters Top 70 Albums of 2018
25
Uncut Top 75 Albums of 2018
12

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Neko Case and Paul Rigby, except where noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Hell-On" 4:11
2."Last Lion of Albion"Case, Jeff Galegher, Rigby3:38
3."Halls of Sarah" 3:53
4."Bad Luck" 3:59
5."Curse of the I-5 Corridor" 7:01
6."Gumball Blue"Case, Allan Carl Newman4:14
7."Dirty Diamond" 3:44
8."Oracle of the Maritimes"Case, Laura Veirs4:25
9."Winnie" 3:54
10."Sleep All Summer"Eric Bachmann5:04
11."My Uncle’s Navy"Case, Newman4:14
12."Pitch or Honey" 4:27
Total length:52:44

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[21] 88
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[22] 123
New Zealand Heatseeker Albums (RMNZ)[23] 4
Scottish Albums (OCC)[24] 38
US Billboard 200[25] 31
US Folk Albums (Billboard)[26] 2
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[27] 4
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[28] 4
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[29] 5

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Abdurraqib, Hanif (May 30, 2018). "Neko Case on her new album and moving on from tragedy: 'I've always been a person who fights'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  2. ^ Varga, George (May 27, 2018). "Neko Case, armed with new album, 'Hell-On,' is SDSU-bound with Ray Lamontagne". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  3. ^ "Hell-On by Neko Case reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Hell-On by Neko Case Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Hell-On – Neko Case". AllMusic. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Rife, Katie (May 31, 2018). "Neko Case is a force of nature on the masterful Hell-On". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  7. ^ Kot, Greg (June 1, 2018). "Neko Case stomps the terra with the powerful 'Hell-On'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  8. ^ Snapes, Laura (June 1, 2018). "Neko Case: Hell-On review – a pitch-perfect roar of female defiance". The Guardian. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  9. ^ Kaplan, Ilana; Aubrey, Elizabeth; Morgan, Jessica (May 30, 2018). "Album reviews: Father John Misty, Roger Daltrey, LUMP and more". The Independent. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  10. ^ Nelson, Chris (July 2018). "Neko Case: Hell-On". Mojo (296): 88.
  11. ^ Sodomsky, Sam (June 5, 2018). "Neko Case: Hell-On". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  12. ^ Barton, Laura (July 2018). "Neko Case: Hell-On". Q (386): 108.
  13. ^ Hermes, Will (June 7, 2018). "Review: Neko Case's Fierce 'Hell-On' Is One of Her Best". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (July 7, 2018). "Robert Christgau on Merrill Garbus's Creative Compulsions". Vice. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  15. ^ Purdom, Clayton; McLevy, Alex (December 18, 2018). "The A.V. Club's 20 Best Albums of 2018". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  16. ^ "Albumism Selects: The 50 Best Albums of 2018". Albumism.com. November 27, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  17. ^ "The 20 best albums of 2018". Entertainment Weekly. December 6, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  18. ^ "GIITTV Album Of The Year Poll 2018 Results: 50 -1". Godisinthetvzine.co.uk. December 10, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  19. ^ "The 70 Best Albums of 2018". PopMatters. December 20, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  20. ^ "Uncut's 75 Best Albums of 2018". Uncut. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  21. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #476". auspOp. June 9, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Neko Case – Hell-On" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  23. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. June 11, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  24. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  25. ^ "Neko Case Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  26. ^ "Neko Case Chart History (Top Americana/Folk Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  27. ^ "Neko Case Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  28. ^ "Neko Case Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  29. ^ "Neko Case Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 24, 2019.