Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Old 97's: Blame It on Gravity [New West, 2008]
After a lovely opener about a couple I hope don't crash that VW Bug come two devastatingly subtle breakup songs that make me fear for Rhett Miller's personal happiness: one about tears like pearls obeying what is only natural law, one about doing the underlying rumba into the warm Caribbean sea. The band songs are only slightly less subtle. In one they rob a bank and take Route 1 north because they've got nothing but time. In the other, Miller's in more of a rush: "I will grow impatient for your love but you will not recognize/How I might die inside unless I ride." What does it all mean? Only one thing's certain--his songwriting. A-