Neko Case - Hell-On
Critic Score
Based on 22 reviews
2018 Ratings: #75 / 671
User Score
Based on 107 ratings
2018 Ratings: #212
June 1, 2018 / Release Date
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A.V. Club
Fire may have robbed Neko Case of her home, but she’s emerged from the ashes even better than before.
The Guardian

Yet another high-point in Case’s unstintingly stirring career.


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.


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.

This time around, Case looks inward to instill her most personal anecdotes and most sensitive nerves into her already acclaimed style of storytelling, and hits her musical sweet spot with her most eclectic and accessible album of her nearly 25 year career.

She’s like no one else, with an artistic vision that’s deeply rooted and clearly focused, and an adventurous compositional spirit that runs laps around most of her contemporaries. As a result, her catalog overflows with interesting and unconventional songs that nonetheless feel comforting and familiar. That’s a catalog worth celebrating, and Hell-On is a wonderful new chapter of Case’s career.

The Line of Best Fit

As Neko Case gets older, her songwriting and overall musicianship have no intention of plateauing. Instead, they grow with her, and the end result is always something organic and strangely beautiful.

The Independent
Despite her life circumstances, Case’s longtime audience will find her latest project familiar and welcoming. Full of eccentric pop melodies and gothic country odes, Case’s first self-produced album remains fascinating and deeply creative.
Northern Transmissions

Her lyricism is more on-point than ever and stands tall as the album’s driving force.

The Skinny

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.

Under The Radar

Hell-On is an impressive adventure through the mind and talents of one our most erstwhile and beloved musical treasures.

No Ripcord

On Hell-On, Case once again spins the roulette with a treasury of surprises, stimulating lessons that are complex, thoughtful and articulate. Fifteen years into her solo career, she continues to bring forth subjects that demand to not only be heard, but also applied, and yet it's always strictly tailored into the fabric of actual songs.

Spectrum Culture

Even with six solo albums under her belt, a few stone-cold classics and, of course, that whole New Pornographers thing, Hell-On is still Case’s most raging tempest yet. She doesn’t go big, she goes universal.


Case is far more than an “effective manipulator”, she is in fact one of our most underrated songwriters. Hell-On is a good demonstration of just how great she’s become.

Rolling Stone
Neko Case's clarion pipes remain the calling card, but on her 8th studio LP, between lyrics and vocal arrangements, they've never channeled more imagination or sense of purpose.
God Is in the TV

This is an album of disparate musical tones that together create an emotional journey.


Hell-On is a record that can feel equally fragile and impenetrable, its songs like complex universes connected only by proximity.

The 405

Even when buried in the thick metaphors of Hell-On, she’s gracefully tuned in to her own music and not the world around it.


If we're going to rank Neko Case albums, then Hell-On might not be at the very top of the list. But Case is always a fascinating singer and songwriter and that is still in effect here.

Slant Magazine

With Hell-On, Case continues to cultivate fresh expressions of personal growth from familiar terrain.

FLOOD Magazine

Regardless of some disconnect with Lanegan’s detached presence, Hell-On drafts a potent manifesto for women who speak their truth, sing their songs, and live by their word.

American Songwriter
Fans willing to follow these winding, often convoluted melodies and thoughts may enjoy the ride. But there is a chilly, somewhat detached vibe that often overtakes the material, making it a challenge to unpack each of these dense selections on an album that’s easier to appreciate and admire than enjoy.
god damn that cover just ruins it all for me
Space Vacation
In the camp of half a dozen people who think the cover is dope. *looks around nervously*

Update: Unfortunately didn't leave the same atom-bomb impact on me as her last record.
Don't get me wrong, I still thought this was fairly great overall.
A lot of very very good songs but just not on the same unforgettable, glowing mountain top.

(I disliked Sleep All Summer vehemently,
enough so where I actually think this would reach atleast 84 maybe 85 without it.)
yes mommy

UPDATE 5/15/18: really loving all three singles, especially "Curse of the I-5 Corridor" - she did that!

UPDATE 5/25/18: Will need to listen more but so far...... this is the album I wanted Fox Confessor Brings the Flood to Be. Really loving the dark direction the album takes almost immediately when you get into the second half with "Dirty Diamond" and "Oracle of the Maritimes."

The most standout moment for me is probably the ending of "Gumball ... read more
We’re now two decades into her solo career, and Neko Case has still never failed to deliver. She may take her time between albums, but she always comes through, and the result is a remarkably and consistently excellent body of work. “Hell-On” might be the most immaculately produced album of her career. The richness of the instrumentation pairs wonderfully with Case’s famously powerful voice. This woman was born to sing, and her performances are always stellar. ... read more
▲ Hell-On, Bad Luck, Curse of the I-5 Corridor, Oracle of the Maritimes, Winnie, Pitch or Honey
▼ My Uncle's Navy
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Track List

  1. Hell-On
  2. Last Lion of Albion
  3. Halls of Sarah
  4. Bad Luck
  5. Curse of the I-5 Corridor
  6. Gumball Blue
  7. Dirty Diamond
  8. Oracle of the Maritimes
  9. Winnie
  10. Sleep All Summer
  11. My Uncle's Navy
  12. Pitch or Honey
Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton, Felindie
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Added on: March 5, 2018