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Old 97's - Blame It On Gravity - New West

It's been interesting to watch (and listen to) the career offerings of XPN favorites Old 97's. In their 15-year existence, Rhett Miller and company have consistently given us quality rock & roll with a touch of Texas twang, and while they break no new ground, Blame It On Gravity, is a solid effort full of hooks and attitude.

Miller's distinctive whine and cynically sentimental wordsmith abilities are on fine display as usual, with tunes like "Dance With Me", "The Fool" and "This Beautiful Thing" kind of neatly wrapping up the 97's appeal in three tunes. The playing is strong as always, with guitarist Ken Bethea shining through with understated glory.

There are times when we'd like to hear this band break out from their tried-and-true cookbook, but after listening to another finely crafted album like this one, that may not be very important after all. What certainly is important is the consistency that this band provides, and the promise that Blame It On Gravity, their 7th album of new material, delivers those little, catchy, bittersweet love songs with an edge that made you fall for them in the first place.

Written by Dan Reed.

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