Rhett Miller (from the album The Messenger on ATO Records)
Rhett Miller ss arguably one of the better songwriters of the last twenty-five years, penning heart -ache and -break with the Old 97’s. He can craft a tune no matter what company he keeps on stage or in the studio, and his solo output, which includes his latest release The Messenger, puts the cow-punk and twang of his long-time band in the back-seat. The opener “Total Disaster” is self-deprecating but also full of admissions. When Rhett Miller belts out lines like ‘there’s no such thing as perfect, why even try?’, you get the feeling that he may carry some past regret but is also satisfied with exactly where he is in the present.
“Wheels” starts off with a guitar intro that leads into the narrator’s confession of dedication to a partner; a positive affirmation to a relationship that will be steady as long as ‘the wheels go ‘round’. “I Used to Write in Notebooks” is an acknowledgement to change. ‘I used to write in notebooks, I used to read maps. I used to send letters, I used to take naps. but everything changes, it’s not the same world. I’m not the same guy’ are more open book confessions, admissions of personal change that are honest and at times unheard. Rhett Miller has written his fair share of hooks, and this is no different. While its far from rowdy, there is still bounce in the melodies, and Miller and his band give just as much of a nod to the forever-memorable sounds of 1970’s AM radio as they do singer songwriters that are firm in a world of electric folk and quieter rock. (by Bryant Liggett)
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