Many Old 97s fans will recognize the name Rhett Miller as the band’s lead singer. Don’t worry, he hasn’t left the band for good. Miller just seems to enjoy taking short breaks to experiment and do his own thing. If you’re a die hard 97’s fan, you’ll like Rhett Miller’s solo albums too. If you’re not a fan because you’ve haven’t heard of Miller or the 97s, you aren’t alone. Both the group and the singer seem to remain slightly under the radar, despite clever lyrics and amazing talent. Miller’s solo albums are both more pop-oriented. I suspect he’s hoping that if his style moves a little more mainstream it will catch on with the masses. I don’t think that has happened yet, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t catch on to the Rhett Miller following. His looks, talent, and charm are nearly impossible to resist. He’ll be on heavy rotation on your play list in no time. To get acquainted, start by listening to these:
1.Terrible Vision- What kind of woman would use and abuse Miller? It seems almost unfathomable for such a charmer to have been subjected to pain that is lasting enough for him to have nightmares about it. Terrible Vision is sad and sweet, but somehow, you just know he’s going to get over it- probably in the very next song.
2. Fireflies- This song features guest Rachael Yamamoto who contributes to the song with her low, rough vocals. She sounds just like the hard-to-keep girl Miller sings about when he sings that fireflies in a jar only last for one night.
3. Brand New Way- From the album The Believer, Brand New Way is a charming love song that makes it perfect for a first date play list.
4. Question- Originally performed on Satellite Rides, an Old 97s album, Miller covers his own song on The Believer, his 2006 solo project. This song is so touching that you won’t help but love it. The remake differs mainly in the accompanying music and not in the singing itself. For this version, Miller chose orchestra over guitar. It’s a bit more grown-up, but perfect for a first dance at a wedding.
5. Singular Girl- This song is also originally an Old 97’s song. As it usually happens, people tend to like the version they hear first, best. I do, but that doesn’t mean Miller’s solo version doesn’t merit a listen. It’s a cute song, about a difficult girl that he seems to love anyway. Ladies, if you’ve always dreamed of a man loving your “faults,” you’ll wish he was singing this song just for you.
6. Come Around- Not as upbeat as most songs on this album, this song will probably make you feel sorry for poor Rhett Miller as you listen to him recall heart-break. When he asks “Am I gonna be lonely for the rest of my life,” the ladies will answer back “No Rhett, we love you!”
7.Our Love- The first song on his first solo album, Our Love is a good way to kick off The Instigator.
8. My Valentine- This song kicks off the most recent album, The Believer. It is not his most well-written work of all time (that’s not to say it’s poorly written; it isn’t) but you’ll enjoy the upbeat, light-hearted intro to a standup album
9. Delicate- Another upbeat song from The Believer. Miller sings about a break-up. This is not unusual for him- a majority of his songs refer to the ups and downs, the intensity, of relationships. But his knack for turning an obscure account of events into a song is epitomized here.
10. This Is What I Do- This is exactly what Rhett Miller does: “I’m gonna sing this song forever/ About a girl that I once knew/ And how she is always leaving/ This is what I do.