The Old 97’s – Wreck Your Life

ARTIST: Old 97’s                                                                                                                  220px-old_97s-wreck_your_life

TITLE:  Wreck Your Life

YEAR RELEASED: 1995

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Victoria, Doreen, Big Brown Eyes, W-I-F-E

LINEUP: Ken Bethea, Murry Hammond, Rhett Miller, Philip Peeples

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second full length record from the band sounds fresh and inspired, mining rock and country into a winning mix on many cuts.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Moving past the sometimes rushed sound of their first album, Wreck Your Life finds the Old 97’s comfortable in both country and rock, and both in moody songs and more driving tunes.

Rhett Miller’s wit and smartassery is evident in his songwriting and he can mine a country cliché for the best results, especially in “W-I-F-E”. The band sounds confident and clear, and they started to gain a lot of national traction in the alt-country movement. Ken Bethea’s guitar hangs out in the lower registers, as a good country guitarist does.

Not every song is memorable. There’s still a few filler tracks around to make the numbers. But the best songs are ones that the Old 97’s have carried forward in their career, and are true fan favorites.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Big Brown Eyes” was re-recorded for their major label debut.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: A-:  Just a couple of filler tracks, but the best songs are all-timers

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