Sunday, December 13, 2009

Music Decade List #14: Old 97's - Satellite Rides (2001)

The fact that I think Satellite Rides is the best Old 97's album of the decade, full of catchy hooks and melodies, shouldn't mean I dislike the "old" Old 97's. But in crafting a catchy power pop album full of great hooks and melodies, it creates a bit of a dilemma. This isn't the hard-charging alt-country of their earlier albums and not quite what die hard fans probably wanted to hear. The simple fact is that Rhett Miller has always has fine understanding in pop songcraft in his material prior to this album and now the band is going full bore into Marshall Crenshaw territory. Why the album is so strong is that almost every song is got at least a little hook or chorus that gets in your head. The list of songs here that I would put in my favorite Old 97's playlist is astounding: 'King Of All the World', 'Rollerskate Skinny', 'Am I Too Late' (the closest to the "old" sound), 'Book of Poems", and of course 'Question', depending on the times my favorite song of the decade. Two or three more could be thrown in depending on the times. I happen to believe as the work of an album, Satellite Rides was the most consistent and had the best executed sound the band ever got on an album. As a live band, their a completely different animal but here, they got nearly everything right. As for the difference between the country and pop stylings, I like them no matter what. That Satellite Rides got me into the Old 97's would confirm it's a pretty fine album.

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