Over the years Neko Case has sung from the perspective of all sorts of exotic creatures: tornadoes, tigers, tides, but on 2013’s stellar The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, she personifies the most exotic creature of all: a man.
In what’s probably her most rocking song ever, Neko takes a look at gender stereotypes and with guitars blazing, is her typical unsparing self.
I’m a man
That’s what you raised me to be
I’m not an identity crisis
This was planned
I’m a man
As in a citizen of mankind
It’s what kind of animal I am
It’s that simple, oh
It’s probably on purpose that “Man” is both rollicking and joyful. Rollicking in order to conform to gender stereotypes and joyful because she’s not being critical in any way, shape or form. She’s just exploring, and having fun doing so, especially as the song hits its, er, climax.
I’m a man’s man, I’ve always been
Make no mistake, what I’ve invested in
A woman’s heart is the watermark
Of which I measure everything
After that, a couple of long guitar solos, a couple more verses, keyboard flourishes, and even more guitars and pounding drums as “Man” roars to its conclusion.
“Man” was definitely the highlight of The Worse Things Are, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, though I also love her cover of Robyn Hitchcock’s “Madonna of the Wasps,” even with the weird keyboard flourishes.
And just a couple of months ago, Neko put out another fine record, Hell-On, and while nothing has as yet completely wiped me out, maybe in the future I might write about “Oracle of the Maritimes,” “Halls of Sarah,” or the epic duet with Mark Lanegan, “Curse of the I-5 Corridor.
“Man” official video
“Man” performed live in Austin, 2013
The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.
Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)
Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page