2009: 15 of the Best. #7…

December 10, 2009

#7 – Rhett Miller – Like Love

From: Rhett Miller
Released: June 9, 2009
Label: Shout! Factory
Buy it: Here.

Rhett’s third “proper” solo album (look, I’m as much of a completist as the next guy, but must we seriously keep counting Mythologies when his promo tour consisted of local access TV?) is a formidable set of songs — certainly a step up from 2006’s hit-and-miss The Believer, and the fact that it came on the back of last year’s Old 97’s record Blame it on Gravity — arguably their best work of the decade — probably raised the bar for his solo work a bit. Rhett Miller isn’t a slam dunk from top to bottom — the latter half of the record gets a tad bogged down in sleepy acoustic laments. It’s not that Rhett can’t write a pretty little song to make girls swoon, but when you got people like Jon Brion or Apples in Stereo drummer John Dufihlo, you know — for Christ’s sake, use ’em! “Like Love” is a good example of the kind of energy a decent studio band can provide. This song certainly could’ve been a lovely little acoustic strumalong, but put a punchy little drumbeat and bassline under it with a healthy hit of harmonies on the chorus and voila — one of the best songs of the year. For some reason, a lyric like “The boy that I still am tells a joke, the new girl of my dreams doesn’t even think to laugh” is something I think only Rhett could get away with writing, and I’m not quite sure why. But it’s a brilliant line and the from the gut energy he lets go on the song’s refrain is also pretty fabulous. Here’s hoping the bar stays raised for the new Old 97’s album that should be released next year.


  1. Spot-on review. And I completely agree with you about Mythologies. A high-school record is a high-school record, and Miller himself doesn’t mention it these days.

  2. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks so. I’ll admit the videos are funny, but people would probably say the same about me if they saw how ridiculously ahead of the curve I believed myself to be in high school.

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