THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012|
Posted by: Zoe Marquedant
Rhett Miller's The Dreamer stays true to the band's country sound. In past albums, Miller has toyed with pop and rock, which was a welcome expansion to his sound, however Miller took this new release as an opportunity to explore his roots. For The Dreamer, Miller skipped exploring other genres and instead took an in-depth look at country rock.
He rather takes this album to really focus on a specific sound rather than jumping between several. Country has always been a large part of Miller's albums. You can hear the influence in songs like "Love Grows" and other tracks that utilize all the instruments the country genre has to offer. Miller explores the depth of that sound in songs like "This Summer Lie." The album's first single "Out of Love" has the most energy, but is evidence of a more melancholic side to The Dreamer. It isn't a country single per say, but it reflects the general sound of the album without oversimplifying. However The Dreamer isn't entirely a country album. In "Marina" Miller skips the steel guitar and instead presents us with a simpler track build around a basic acoustic riff and vocals. It is the closest the album comes to past successes like "Question" and "Come Around."
Miller has given his sound more direction for The Dreamer, but he left his lyrics plenty of elbow room. We're used to Miller's intricate third-person storytelling style. In "Our Love" off of The Instigator Miller mixed his pop guitar with historical references. He scaled back for The Dreamer. He spent the majority of the album opting for a more straightforward approach. Miller opens the album with "I was going through a hell of a time when suddenly you showed up." The line adds an autobiographical aspect to the track. Miller moved closed to his subjects, trading "he" and "she" for "you" and "I". Despite these shifts, Miller wins us over with simple sentiments like, "I thought you were the wind/battling through this house again."
Miller has had a prolific and successful career since his days as the front man for Old 97's. He has grown into a seasoned singer-songwriter, with multiple solo albums under his belt. For his newest album, The Dreamer, Miller stepped up and into a new role as producer. He also released the album off his own Maximum Sunshine Records. The record features Rachael Yamagata and Rosanne Cash, which adds a good amount of star power to the album and proves that we're not the only ones impressed with Miller's efforts.