Rhett Miller - Rhett Miller
(Serial Lady Killer Records)
With Ryan Adams disappointingly adrift, there’s a vacancy for a maverick rock troubador – and this is Rhett Miller’s strongest application to date.
Boyishly pretty at 39, and with a fey edge to his warm tenor, the Old 97s frontman shakes off his band’s alt-country accents in favour of a ’60s sheen that brightens some serious mood-swings. And if Miller’s vignettes of romantic anguish lack the narrative bite of Adams’ best work, the guy still has an ear for a couplet: ‘Hollow your heart out, hold out your hope/ God give me strength and a good length of rope …’