Music Review: Rhett Miller and pals team up for Americana perfection

Last year’s Old 97’s record, Most Messed Up, was a raucous, ribald chronicle of abject drunkenness and reckless confessions that bristled with unpleasant personal truths. Frontman Rhett Miller continues harnessing that freewheeling honesty on his excellent new solo album, The Traveler, but casts a more forgiving eye toward unruly behavior and judgment lapses. “Wicked Things” admits to indiscretions, but the secret shame is shared between two people, while the frustrations detailed in “Escape Velocity” stem from circumstances out of the narrator’s control, and the poetic waltz “My Little Disaster” is a tender, whimsical snapshot of a misguided romantic dalliance.

In many other moments, The Traveler feels like the morning-after clarity gained in the aftermath of Most Messed Up‘s debauchery, whether it’s the rueful acknowledgment that restlessness is deadly to a relationship (“Wanderlust”), the cold, hard realization that a relationship is irrevocably destroyed (“Dreams Vs. Waking …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *