Friday, March 03, 2006

Rhett Miller: The Believer (One star)

I know I know, easy target right? And the fact that I decided I hated this album before I even knew it existed also probably makes this review a little unfair, while the album cover makes the music impossible to enjoy. But aside from all of this bias, listening to the record (which was really hard) inspired two questions: 1) when did Rhett Miller start using the Barenaked Ladies as his backup band? And 2) do musicians REALLY sit down in a practice space or a studio and say "ok, now I'm going to write a song for the sole purpose of getting it played on the Mix 102.9 morning show?" I don't know the answer to either, and I'm sure I really don't give a shit.

I used to like the Old 97's when I was a kid, but I haven't listened to them in so long that I don't know if I would like them now. If they sound anything like this, however, well then I guess I can pass off my former appreciation of the band as a youthful mistake, because this album is complete crap. I really don't even have the desire to go through and tell you which songs sucked and which songs REALLY sucked, because listening to it made having this website feel like a job, and writing about it would be even worse. Now of course most of this stuff is completely harmless pop music, and it probably isn't as bad as I'm making it out to be. I guess there are some catchy moments here and there, but I just can't believe that people around here still think this guy is cool. This is the kind of music that you hear in the background at the Mall, or Starbucks, or anywhere else you might go to consume products and services. In those settings, you probably wouldn't even notice it. The album is decently produced, adequately structured, and more or less run of the mill adult alternapop that is well written for what it is. Doing nothing else but listening to the album in your room, however, reveals how truly boring it is, and how music that is otherwise meaningless can really be annoying when you are forced to think about it for more than 30 seconds. That is all I'm really going to say about it, because writing bad record reviews should at least be somewhat fun. Any way you cut it, however, this album is even less fun to write about than it is to listen to. And that is saying something.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

one of the song title is called "singular girl"
and one of the lines in the song is "talking to you is like long division"
well, apparently this tub of crap gives you a one two punch of insight that
not only is he a bad songwriter, but he barely has a high school education

3:21 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...


3:43 PM  
Blogger said...

I have to pipe up - not in defense of Rhett Miller, in particular, but to point out the danger in careless criticism. Personally, I have to agree with WeShotJR on the album review. I think Rhett could have done much better - and was anticipating more, having heard and almost really enjoyed his previous solo outing with producer Jon Brion at the helm. Alas.

But my point here is that this first comment accuses Rhett of being a bad songwriter and lacking education. May I point out that, 1.) the comment is lacking punctuation, capitalization and is constructed, uh, liberally, 2.) Rhett went to St. Mark's for high school and later St. Lawrence for college - neither are bad schools. I know, I know: this is the Internet, and on it you can be forgiven for mistakes, typos and hyperbole. And we've all seen the flame-up screaming matches that go on around here. They can be fun. But a comment like this, where it is so obviously meant to be cleverly biting, unfortunately rises no farther than the level of the object of criticism: like the "The Believer," the comment is overly conscious, mostly empty and ultimately forgettable. I'd give both the album and this commentator two stars - for exactly the same reasons.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous KatieMac said...

dconstruction. Not only a critic, but also a metacritic. I'd like to comment about the comment on the comment: well said. Anonymous' comment is a fine example of the "needless slamming" I find so very boring.

Oh, and I haven't heard the album, and doubt I will.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dconstruction, Rhett Miller's last two (only two?) solo albums have undeniably sucked - even you have to admit that (no matter how chummy you are with Miller or any of the musicians that play on his discs). And who gives a fuck where the guy went to high school? for God's sake, Dconstruction, what a piss poor argument to make... I saw Miller last week on Jay Leno (or Conan ) and it was complete shit. They guy looks like he hired Switchfoot's stylist and completely stopped listening to Johnny Cash.

9:58 AM  
Blogger wakka-wakka said...

He does admit that. Re-read his second to last sentence.

The commenting on commenting on commenting on commenting continues.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah... well.... your comment.. on um.. my comment Sucks ass! Take that!

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DConstruction is still a jackass...

2:50 PM  
Blogger wakka-wakka said...

Sorry, second anonymous dude, I didn't mean to get all english lab teacher on you.

But I had to point out that Dconstruction was actually being critical (although mildly) of their friend Rhett Miller.

And you've got to give them credit for that, at least. Sure, their tastes veer toward the boring, but calling out your friend's work in a public forum, without the cloak of anonymity? That's a charactersitic of a good critic.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck off, lindsay! this is a blog. don't start correcting peoples grammar and sticking up of rich white kids.

you ARE such a jackass.

why don't you find something you're good at and stick to it.

no talent hack you are....

9:48 AM  

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