Satellite Rides

Satellite Rides

Another step toward mainstream pop-rock, Satellite Rides ultimately failed to bridge the distance between the Texas-bred Old 97's and commercial radio. Too bad; millions would no doubt love "King of All the World" and "Rollerskate Skinny" if they'd only heard them once or twice. Rhett Miller's ability to pull every string on your heart remains; it reaches a peak on "Question," a delicate tale about a nighttime walk that culminates in a big one. A second super-casual proposition ("Do you wanna mess around?") in "Buick City Complex" argues for and against the notion of small-town life as the truest American way. And the album's overall tone makes a case for these guys as a band that sounds great whether you pay close attention to the words, or turn the volume so high that they don't matter.

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