Sunday, July 12, 2015
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: RHETT MILLER - THE TRAVELER
The performances match the upbeat tunes, with Miller joined by the largely-acoustic sounds of the group Black Prairie. Heavyweight pals Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey dropped by later to overdub some solos. It's all pleasing, and feel-good, with the pay-off at the end. The last cut, Reasons To Live, lists a bunch of small pleasures, with a buoyant string section and bright piano pushing the song along. But then Miller drops the chorus: "Thank God I didn't die when I wanted to/Thank God I didn't die, I wouldn't have meant you." That's in reference to a youthful suicide attempt that almost, and should have worked. All these years later, Miller can look back and be very happy how it all worked out. No wonder the album sounds so optimistic.