You might know him as the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of pioneering alt-country rockers The Old 97's or even the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of that band that was featured in one of the worst movies ever made, The Break Up. Believe it or not, Rhett Miller has had a solid solo career that has flown (no pun intended to my radio show that airs live Tuesdays at 7pm on 990WBOB, you can also catch replays of it on Indie Bob every night at 10pm) under the radar since his first record, Mythologies, back when he was a wee teenager in 1989. His brand new 5th studio album, The Dreamer, could very well be his best one yet.
Miller recorded the album with his current touring band, The Serial Lady Killers along with fellow musicians Rosanne Cash (music legend Johnny Cash's daughter) and Rachael Yamagata serving as backing and supporting vocalists on several tracks. The Dreamer is also Miller's first time producing an album by himself without the assistance of anyone else, but the quality of the album is pristine. A smooth and timeless sound exudes from every track, showing that it, of course, isn't Miller's first rodeo when it comes to producing and mixing tracks together to create a musical masterpiece. It shows a great merging of the country and Americana rock styles from his work with The Old 97's and the rock/pop styles from his past solo efforts, creating a versatile and rootsy record that promises to sooth the soul.
- Rob Duguay
"Out of Love" is the single off of the record that has Miller singing about being broken-hearted, self-destructive and how "I'm only happy when I'm singing a sad, sad song". "As Close As I Came To Being Right" features Cash's robust voice going along with Miller's melodies about how your impression of someone can change in an instant, and not always for the better. "The Summer Lie" is a great song that anyone who has ever fallen in love when the weather gets hot can relate to, resonating rustic, electric guitar chords and mellow rhythms that are simply invigorating. "Marina" is a classic bare bones love song with Miller spilling his heart out about a girl that's far away while rocking his acoustic guitar to oblivion. "Complicated Man" is a ballad that has Miller singing about how nobody is truly simple, perfect and without any baggage, you carry whatever you take from the past and how that can make you feel even more alone in this world. With most of the songs being about heartbreak, loneliness, and how things don't always go the way you expect, it's safe to say that if you are going through a tough time, this is the record to listen to. As I always say in this blog, don't always take my opinion on a select few, grab a copy of the album when it comes out and listen in for yourself.
Next month, Rhett Miller & The Serial Lady Killers will be embarking on a little 15-date tour of The United States starting with a solo performance from Miller at Waterloo Records & Video in Austin, TX on June 1st and ending at The Crocodile Cafe in Seattle, WA on June 22nd. For us live music fans in the New England area, Miller & The Serial Lady Killers will be the Brighton Music Hall in Boston on June 9th, so definitely grab your tickets because they're going fast. Now I got some bad news, since I'm an "esteemed" member of the media I already have an advanced copy of the record and you'll have to wait until June 5th when it is officially on record store shelves and internet music download websites worldwide. When that fateful date comes, grab a copy of Rhett Miller's The Dreamer, a great album for anyone with great musical taste.
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