13 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Dallas, Texas’ Old 97’s (they’ve since become bi-coastal) trailblaze just beyond the usual traditional tones of the alt-country movement for their third album, 1997’s Too Far to Care, augmenting singer-songwriter Rhett Miller’s unmistakable country twang with furious rhythms (“Timebomb” opens things explosively), soaring pop and country harmonies (courtesy of bassist Murry Hammond), and adventurous melodies. Guitarist Ken Bethea adds plenty of tasteful counterpoint, turning the amps up when the moment calls (the amphetamine fueled “Melt Show” and “House That Used To Be”) and muting the effects when the ominous night calls (the beautifully paced “Salome”), and he finds the right atmospheric conditions for “Just Like California.” But the band sound happiest and most in their element when they’re hop-stepping with a rodeo’s freefalling lope as presented on “W. Tx Teardrops” and “Big Brown Eyes,” a track reworked from their previous album, 1995’s Wreck Your Life, with a fuller, brighter sound to flesh out their western dreams.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Dallas, Texas’ Old 97’s (they’ve since become bi-coastal) trailblaze just beyond the usual traditional tones of the alt-country movement for their third album, 1997’s Too Far to Care, augmenting singer-songwriter Rhett Miller’s unmistakable country twang with furious rhythms (“Timebomb” opens things explosively), soaring pop and country harmonies (courtesy of bassist Murry Hammond), and adventurous melodies. Guitarist Ken Bethea adds plenty of tasteful counterpoint, turning the amps up when the moment calls (the amphetamine fueled “Melt Show” and “House That Used To Be”) and muting the effects when the ominous night calls (the beautifully paced “Salome”), and he finds the right atmospheric conditions for “Just Like California.” But the band sound happiest and most in their element when they’re hop-stepping with a rodeo’s freefalling lope as presented on “W. Tx Teardrops” and “Big Brown Eyes,” a track reworked from their previous album, 1995’s Wreck Your Life, with a fuller, brighter sound to flesh out their western dreams.

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