The Worse Things Get ...

Neko Case - The Worse Things Get ...
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2013 Ratings: #87 / 961
Year End Rank: #29
User Score
Based on 91 ratings
2013 Ratings: #87
September 3, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
ANTI- / Label
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It's some of her most instantly gratifying work as well, perfectly encapsulating all of her personas, from the erudite, whiskey-shooting provocateur to the sweet and soulful, small town crooner who sounds like she was plucked from the pages of a novel set in the antebellum north.

No Ripcord

On this, her latest and most emotionally charged album, she's managed to create a painful outpouring of honesty, one that strikes that coveted balance of both melodic and lyrical expression; her message is equally powerful from each direction.


Somehow, The Worse Things Get is Case’s tightest record and also her strangest. With its off-kilter arrangements and eccentric turns of phrase, it’s a world unto itself.

The Line of Best Fit

For Case, this is likely a cathartic effort; it’s improbable this path will be revisited, unless more tragedy befalls her, but it’s a tremendous listen and a wonderful demonstration of her talents nonetheless.

Under The Radar

While Harder doesn't suggest giving up this fight to be heard, it encourages the listener to think about the fight in a different way—by accepting shortcomings, recognizing the narrowness of socially-constructed paths, and starting to rise above it all. 


Proving herself to still be one of the most authoritative voices in the firmament, Neko Case’s sixth album is typically sumptuous and lusciously heart-rending. 


It’s a record that often elevates the listener through its integrity and intensity, and sometimes grates through its failure to find the right music to express its complex lyrical sentiments.


Her voice is a bear hug in the literal sense; succumbing to it is like being carjacked by Patsy Cline.


One advantage of Case being “peaceful and strange” and generally unique is that she can release an album like this and most listeners won’t bat an eye. Only about half of The Worse Things Get really sounds like anything she’s done before under her own name.

Pretty Much Amazing

Wwhile the subsequent inconsistency may hold The Worse Things Get back from greatness, it does make it honest, and when it comes to art I’ll take honesty over consistency any day. 

Consequence of Sound

It’s wholly solipsistic. By nature, the listener is alienated, as we tend to care most about the songs we can relate to. But The Worse Things Get isn’t about us or even for us. These 40 minutes belong to Neko Case. It’s her cleansing.

A.V. Club

She’s settled into the safety of contemporary indie-folk, giving The Worse Things Get… the same kind of innocuous sound as radio-friendly groups like The Civil Wars and Of Monsters And Men.

This was my personal AOTY for 2013, which may have been partly influenced by it being my first true exposure to Neko Case, and THAT voice. There's this timbre to Case's singing that's so commanding but sweet. The way she attacks the notes is striking, and some songs here wouldn't have left much of an impression in the hands of a less-capable singer.

But holy hell this thing is hook-y, even as many songs forego traditional verse-chorus structures. "I'm From Nowhere" cycles through ... read more
10 years ago, when I seriously entered in the world of deeper music, I listened plenty of artists and one of them is Neko Case. I may be a little biased by my musical roots but the worse thing is more than just a biasis.

Neko Case has a pretty long longevity since she debuted more than 20 years ago. With each of releases, she pushes more and more her songwriting and her sound. But it's with this album that I think she fully opens herself up with her songwriting and her sonority.

This album ... read more
Anyone who has listened to Neko Case knows that she can belt and wail as powerfully as any other singer — but she’s never full-on rocked as hard as on her excellent 2013 comeback album “The Worse Things Get …”. Here, Case’s twangy past is essentially a different memory; while her songs are still bolstered by lush alt-country instrumental flourishes, “The Worse Things Get …” feels like Case’s indie rock album, and she goes as hard as ... read more
Better stuff out there
The first half of the album is amazing but it starts to die out fairly quickly after it.
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#2/Immaculate Noise

Track List

  1. Wild Creatures
  2. Night Still Comes
  3. Man
  4. I'm From Nowhere
  5. Bracing for Sunday
  6. Nearly Midnight, Honolulu
  7. Calling Cards
  8. City Swans
  9. Afraid
  10. Local Girl
  11. Where Did I Leave That Fire
  12. Ragtime
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Added on: June 11, 2013