This Is The Ballad
Label: ATO Records (AT0)
The lead single of this amazing band's self-styled "comeback" album, "Longer than You've Been Alive," is actually the least interesting thing on their hardest-rocking album ever. The Old 97's are at their best when they aren't trying so hard: The line "tonight I wanna get wasted with you" is better than the more insistent "Let's Get Drunk & Get It On." Rhett Miller still writes wordplay like "she's got a big heart but she ain't that big" and rips off his own "Point Shirley" for "Guadalajara." But he's never done a knockdown 1-2 finale as raucous as "Intervention" and "Most Messed Up" before.