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Grand Theatre Vol. 2

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 5, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Old 97's introduce The Grand Theatre Vol. 2, their ninth studio album, available July 5th via New West Records. The new record is a companion to the critically acclaimed The Grand Theatre Volume One, which received 3 1/2 stars in both Rolling Stone and American Songwriter. Released less than a year since their last effort, The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 features 13 brand new songs and is once again produced by Salim Nourallah (The Grand Theatre Volume One and Blame It On Gravity.)

"Vol. 2 expands on the themes found in Volume One both sonically and lyrically," explains Miller. "We delved further into our experiments in gritty garage rock and at times spun further into lush psychedelia. Like Volume One, you ll find narratives that are stunted and strange."
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 5, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New West Records
  • ASIN: B00518HB30
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,928 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I am glad to hear the Blame It On Gravity era is over. They're finally back to the sound that I fell in love with a decade ago. This album blows Volume 1 away, and it is their best start-to-finish album in a long, long time. If you liked their earlier albums, you'll like this one.
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Format: Audio CD
"The Grand Theater Volume Two" is the 9th studio album released by the Old 97's and the sequel to last year's Volume One. The band picks up right where they left off with a revitalized twang-punk power-pop folk-rock sound. The production is crisp and fresh, the songs well written and catchy, and overall this is a great CD. "Brown Haired Daughter" is the perfect opening song to the album. It has a light shuffle-type feel to it and will make you want to get up and move. "I'm A Trainwreck" is a rocker and picks up the pace. "Perfume" sounds like a sequel to Volume One's "The Dance Class" and is classic Old 97's: A seemingly happy tune with a dark twist. "White Port" features hilarious pirate vocals that will have you bobbing your head and laughing at the same time. "The Actor" showcases Rhett Miller's vocals and are flat out amazing. Every song on Volume 2 is awesome; there isn't one filler on it. There is a natural evolution to the sound from their earlier work and fans of the band won't be disappointed. Highly recommended!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
The nature of rock `n roll is that we fall in love with our favorite bands, only to be disappointed when the inevitable decline sets in. We watch the release calendar and buy the new albums hoping for that most elusive of creatures, an excellent album from a band after the shine of youth wears off. How often does it happen? Almost never. No, really. Take a look at your collection; the norm is a painful, slow decline, yielding ever increasing disappointment on one release day after another as your interest slowly wanes.

But the core fans keep buying, hoping to find that one album that will buck the trend and deliver the goods after all those years of singing along in the car, cramming into hot, sweaty nightclubs for shows, and hunting for information on upcoming releases. Lately I had begun to suspect that we were chasing a unicorn, a fantasy. Despite ubiquitous, overly optimistic, and unreliable "they're back" reviews in the music press regarding every band past their 30s, the decline of our favorite bands seems inevitable.

Old 97's fans have been wondering for a while which way their beloved--and chronically underappreciated--band was going to go. The live shows have always delivered; this is a band that is throwing gas every night. But the lifeblood of a band is new music--lest one devolve into a greatest hits band.

The Old 97's albums from 1999's Fight Songs to 2008's Blame It on Gravity had a lot of good tracks, but not as many great ones as Old 97's fans have grown to expect. There certainly were great ones, such as "Murder (Or a Heart Attack)," "Valentine," "Can't Get a Line," "Won't Be Home," "Adelaide," and "No Baby I," to name a few; but, it was not uncommon to run into another fan who grumbled about the "new stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
Better than Volume 1 and in league with Too Far To Care. If I were going to introduce someone to their music, I would hand them this album. This is classic Old 97's: rocking, stomping, catchy and fun. Not a bad song in the bunch. Too bad they called it Volume 2 - it sounds like leftovers instead of what it really is - their best album in years.
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Format: Audio CD
The Grand Theatre Volume 2 cranks everything up a notch. I'll admit that Volume 1 was disappointing to me. So I'm amazed at how awesome Volume 2 is. How did that happen? Did they learn from some mistakes on Volume 1? Volume 1 sounded more like a Rhett project...whereas Volume 2 sounds like the other guys took over and said "Hey, Rhett, you used to let us jam, and your lyrics used to be undeniably catchy...let's try that again, OK?" And Rhett obliged. This album rocks from beginning to end. It never gets slower than mid-tempo. A majority of the songs actually DRIVE. THAT'S the Old 97's I remember! I'm so thrilled the guys are back and better than ever. After a few listens, you'll be singing along and imagining the next time you can go to a concert and hear these songs live. It just doesn't get much better than this. My greatest fear would be that people disappointed in Volume 1 will pass on Volume 2, or they will go in with a negative attitude and never give Volume 2 a fair chance. Let's hope Old 97's fans are more loyal than that.
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By MTS on July 19, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Like others have said, this sounds quite a bit like an older Old 97's record. I also agree that it's stronger than Vol. 1. There's plenty of haunting twang here, but also a nice range of songs like most of the 97's discs released in the past 10 years or so.

And, this comes with an interesting twist in that the two Murry Hammond-led contributions are both absolute standout tracks, and amongst the very best stuff Murry has ever contributed to the 97's.

This is a band that's been going strong for almost 20 years now, and while I'll probably always view Too Far Too Care as one of the best records made in my lifetime, it's incredible to see the Old 97's continue to deliver unique, sometimes surprising (hints of Ireland & a 79 second instrumental!) & overall just great new music.

Highly recommended!
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