Artist: Old 97′s
Title: “Too Far to Care”
Format: Digital (Spotify)
Old 97′s’ Elektra debut, “Too Far to Care,” sounds written on the road, with primary songwriter Rhett Miller talking of lonely nights and name dropping various American locales — Chicago, Times Square, Cleveland, California and, of course, the group’s home state, Texas.
“This old night club stole my youth / This old night club stole my true love,” sings Miller, lines that would be sad and sobering if you couldn’t see the devious smirk in the chorus’ denouement: “I just might get drunk tonight and burn the night club down.”
The Austin alt-country rockers are at their best on “Too Far” when they add a little meat onto their twang, such as “Barrier Reef,” which wears its barroom shuffle on its sleeve.
Turning down the simmer are cuts such as “Salome,” which nestles into a cushion of dreary country drawl. No matter how many times Miller sings he’s sick of love, we’re sure he’ll be back again to give it another shot.
Thanks to Miller’s knack as a storyteller, “Too Far to Care” might tell a familiar road-weary story, but it presents it in a way that makes it sound fresh.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.