2004 album from the popular alternative county act. "During the course of the project... We stood in a giant echo-ey church and stared at each other. We stood in a tiny 8x8 room and stared at each other. We sang about satellites, stars, moonlight, cavities, death, cheating, Texas, friendship, parenthood, God and storms." - Old 97's.
The Old 97's suggested they were ready to abandon their bittersweet Americana sound with their previous album, 2001's power-pop heavy Satellite Rides
. But the Dallas, Texas band's sixth release sees them once again digging into soft pedal-steel guitars, rolling pianos, and relaxed southern rhythms. How could they not? It's clear they are genuinely in love with this music, delivering the woozy "The New Kid" and the surging "Smokers" with so much blood and conviction that it's impossible to detect that the songs were recorded on just eight-tracks. The only thing keeping them from inhabiting the same critically hallowed ground as the Jayhawks
and My Morning Jacket
is singer Rhett Miller
's cocktail napkin penned lyrics. It's nothing a remedial English class can't fix. --Aidin Vaziri