Rhett Miller Rhett Miller

Rhett Miller Rhett Miller
As well as leading Texan alt-country faves the Old 97's, Miller has stayed active as a solo recording artist. This is the fourth album out under his name, although self-titling it shows a troubling lack of imagination. Thankfully, its content is a little more impressive, thanks in no small part to the contributions of an ace backing band that includes multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion and Apples In Stereo drummer John Dufilho. The album has a wide sonic range, from sombre ballads like "Bonfire" and "Sometimes" through to the power pop of "If It's Not Love" and "Caroline," and the fiery guitar workout on "Happy Birthday Don't Die." Miller has a pleasingly melodic voice and the polished production adds to the disc's accessibility. Some of the lyrics are rather banal, as on "Another Girlfriend": "the last thing I need is another girlfriend, two's enough for me." Fans of the Old 97's will likely enjoy this one, although Miller has yet to prove himself an artist the calibre of such likeminded peers as Wilco, the Jayhawks or Blue Rodeo. (Shout! Factory)