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Sunday, August 01, 2004

Music Review: 'Drag it Up' 

After almost a week of repeated listening, I feel comfortable to offer up a review of the Old 97's Drag it Up. But since I don't feel like getting too expository, here's an off-kilter, quick-hit assessment.

Songs I Love

Won't be Home
Borrowed Bride
In the Satellite Rides a Star
The New Kid
Friends Forever

Songs I could do without

Blinding Sheets of Rain
Okay, I'll go a little farther in-depth. Unlike the past few 97's albums, I feel strongly about almost every track. "Valium Waltz" and "No Mother" are the only two that I'm really indifferent toward, and that could be attributed to a hectic schedule the past week, which has prevented me from feeling down enough for those tracks to make an impact.

Anyway, more reviewing:


DIU song: "Won't Be Home"
Reminds me of: A cross between "Doreen" and "Heart was a Car." It's a little harder edged than those two, but the driving tempo and women-influenced lyrics point to them, at least in my mind.

DIU song: Moonlight
Reminds me of: "Curtain Calls." The two sound nothing alike, but they both have a distinctive feel to them, and both are slow and melodic. Coincidentally, they both also deal with leaving a girl behind.

DIU song: In the Satellite Rides a Star
Reminds me of: "Valentine." Again, they don't sound too similar, but both feature Murray bellowing sad vocals with a somber accompanying tune.

DIU song: Friends Forver
Reminds me of: "House that Used to Be." I like "Friends Forever" much better, but I immediately thought of "House..." when I first heard it.

Lyrics I love

Won't Be Home -- "I'm pulling off the road, I'm opening the door, I'm giving you the oavement, I'm telling you what for. You're no more than a thought."

Moonlight -- "Now I'm alone and I'm at large, what kind of fool puts me in charge. God it's a lonely way I'm living these days."

Coahuila -- "What she says is true, with that I must agree. 'Cause any girl worth having wouldn't have a thing to do with me."

Friends Forever -- "Went out for the football team, found out the hard way you can't live your dad's dream. Had pretty thick skin to be in the machine, then I found a guitar and the rest's a fanzine."

Other thoughts

- Rhett's vocals are much more subdued in this album, as compared to previous efforts. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing, but when I interviewed him last fall, he did say that the next album would be "softer," which it is.

- As far as its place in the DIU discography is concerned, I'd rank it comfortably ahead of Fight Songs and Satellite Rides, but behind Too Far to Care. It's about on par with Wreck Your Life or Hitchike to Rhome, both in feel and from a quality perspective.

- All of the songs were recorded in one take, without any over-production. I like it. It lends a raw feeling to it that reminds me of the live shows.


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