Satellite Rides

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Colin Helms
With 1999's Fight Songs, Dallas's catchiest little twang-rock band proved they were never really that beholden to country-western conceits after all, softening the backwoods kick of their earlier recordings in favor of singer/songwriter Rhett Miller's burgeoning melodic strengths. Although its polished eclecticism may have put off some longtime fans, that album proved to be a key transitional step towards the consistently great Satellite Rides. From the opening power-pop squeal of "King of All the World" to the closing anguished kiss-off of "Nervous Guy," the band balances Miller's yearning, often-sardonic wordplay with whip-smart hooks and a lean but potent guitar ...
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USA 2001 CD VG+/VG+ Includes free bonus disc! Limited edition LIVE CD with 5 classic 97's tracks plus one unreleased studio track". Slimline double jewelbox.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Colin Helms
With 1999's Fight Songs, Dallas's catchiest little twang-rock band proved they were never really that beholden to country-western conceits after all, softening the backwoods kick of their earlier recordings in favor of singer/songwriter Rhett Miller's burgeoning melodic strengths. Although its polished eclecticism may have put off some longtime fans, that album proved to be a key transitional step towards the consistently great Satellite Rides. From the opening power-pop squeal of "King of All the World" to the closing anguished kiss-off of "Nervous Guy," the band balances Miller's yearning, often-sardonic wordplay with whip-smart hooks and a lean but potent guitar charge. "I believe in love, but it don't believe in me" goes one of Miller's typically double-sided romantic sentiments in "Rollerskate Skinny". "Do you wanna mess around?" he asks a potential valentine in "Buick City Complex" as a small town decays around them. No matter how bad things may look, the Old 97's can always find a reason to kick up their boot heels -- and you'll find it hard not to follow suit.
All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Moving even further away from their alt-country roots, the Old 97's fifth effort is a consistently engaging and unpretentious strummy power pop nugget. Bits of the effortless hook-driven approach of Marshall Crenshaw and Nick Lowe mesh with winning melodies that stick in your skull after the first spin. Hints of Brit Invasion Beatles/Badfinger-styled harmonies also infiltrate these songs, bringing a crisp vocal attack to play, especially in bassist Murray Hammond's subtle backing work. Guitarist/singer/songwriter Rhett Miller has honed his composing and arrangement skills to a fine edge, cramming these compact cuts nothing runs over four minutes, most clock in around three with smart lyrics and sharp, unaffected playing. There's still a little twang remaining from the old days in the driving double-time "Am I Too Late," and even a solo acoustic guitar ballad in "Question," but the band seems most comfortable pounding out crafty, infectious instant singles like "Rollerskate Skinny." Miller's voice is perfect for these songs, mixing just the right amount of pride, innocence, and youthful exuberance into the predominantly upbeat lyrics. But just as importantly, there's a presence and immediacy to Satellite Rides, partially due to the expert touch of mixer Tchad Blake, that makes it jump out of the speakers like the locomotive that provides the band with its name. Deftly incorporating their Texas roots with yodeling and a snappy punch makes "Up the Devil's Pay" one of the disc's most successful tracks, but there really isn't a lackluster performance here. The six-song live bonus EP that came free with early pressings proves how skillful the quartet is in concert, and that their biting, cohesive style is no studio-concocted fluke. The Old 97's sound is organic and natural, and on Satellite Rides they find the perfect balance between their roots in rugged country and pure chiming pop.
Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
Satellite Rides holds up all the way through, but the Old 97's really hit country-rock nirvana in the expertly constructed cheatin' song "Designs on You." Miller sounds drunk and desperate four minutes before closing time, trying to sweet-talk a bride-to-be into one last tumble just so he can write another goddamn cheatin' song about her. The weird part is that you don't recoil from the creep in the song. You kind of like him.

Satellite Rides holds up all the way through, but the Old 97's really hit country-rock nirvana in the expertly constructed cheatin' song "Designs on You." Miller sounds drunk and desperate four minutes before closing time, trying to sweet-talk a bride-to-be into one last tumble just so he can write another goddamn cheatin' song about her. The weird part is that you don't recoil from the creep in the song. You kind of like him.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/20/2001
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 075596253123
  • Catalog Number: 62531

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 King of All the World (2:52)
  2. 2 Rollerskate Skinny (3:52)
  3. 3 Buick City Complex (3:39)
  4. 4 Bird in a Cage (3:48)
  5. 5 Up the Devil's Pay (3:49)
  6. 6 What I Wouldn't Do (3:47)
  7. 7 Question (2:15)
  8. 8 Am I Too Late (2:32)
  9. 9 Weightless (3:45)
  10. 10 Can't Get a Line (2:52)
  11. 11 Designs on You (3:49)
  12. 12 Book of Poems (3:32)
  13. 13 Nervous Guy (3:56)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Old 97's Primary Artist
Rhett Miller Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, 12-string Guitar, Mouth Trumpet
Murry Hammond Bass, Vocals, Background Vocals
Ken Bethea Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Accordion, Electric Guitar, 12-string Guitar, Slide Guitar
Philip Peeples Drums, Maracas, Tambourine, Shaker
Technical Credits
Tchad Blake Engineer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Carl Plaster Drum Technician
Wally Gagel Producer, Engineer
Old 97's Composer
Jeri Heiden Art Direction
Rhett Miller Producer
Robert Carranza Engineer
John Heiden Art Direction
Murry Hammond Producer
Philip Peeples Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Smart

    The Old 97's have provided yet another masterful album. Miller's clever hooks and lyrical genius reveal a refreshing literary intellect to their songs, which is hard to come by in any genre. The album is marked with a clean, yet energetic sound. Miller does more than sing, he speaks to your soul. A meld of bluegrass, pop, rock, and a few others, this album can be enjoyed by almost anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    awesome

    Satellite Rides is a real, rockin' album from the Old 97's. It still has influences of their earlier y'alternative music, but has rock 'n roll, British Invasion roots, too. Their thought provoking, heart-on-the-sleeve vocals blend with the Dylan-reminiscent sound awesomely. All in all, a damn good album.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews