Old 97s -- Satellite Rides

Elektra

Part of my 2001 Top Ten list as published by Neumu on Jan 11, 2002

Alt-Country purists might decry Rhett Millerís inevitable descent towards writing rock songs even more than Jeff Tweedy & Ryan Adams -- the former always was a careerist and the latter always a fuck-up (though, this year, itís actually the other way around), but Miller was one of their great hopes, and probably could have continued to ride their early country-punk sound for at least a few more albums. That all changed on 1999ís Fight Songs, the rare transition album that was solid from start to finish. Satellite Rides sounds even more confident: itís impossible to deny songs like "Buick City Complex," and "Designs on You," and when Miller stops the album dead in its tracks to ask the "Question," thereís no doubt about the answer.

--Jim Connelly

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