NPR logo Remaking a Mix-Tape Staple

Remaking a Mix-Tape Staple


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Rhett Miller looks to his Old 97's catalog for solo material. Mark Seliger hide caption

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Mark Seliger

Tuesday's Song

  • Song: "Question"
  • Artist: Rhett Miller
  • CD: The Believer
  • Genre: Roots-Pop

Rhett Miller ought to be a household name by now: With model-esque good looks, considerable stage presence, and an arsenal of catchy pop songs, the charismatic frontman for alt-country favorite Old 97's doesn't want for raw materials.

Always seemingly on the brink of a commercial breakout, Miller has taken to alternating albums by his main band with more overtly pop-friendly solo projects. He's just released arguably his most commercially accessible disc, The Believer, and "Question" closes the album with a sweet slice-of-life sketch detailing a marriage proposal. Short on grand gestures and free of diamond rings, the song instead finds drama in subtler emotions and interactions, before magnifying the moment's importance in the chorus.

An earlier incarnation of the song — with just Miller and an acoustic guitar, as opposed to the longer, dreamier, more fleshed-out version here — appears on 2001's excellent Old 97's album Satellite Rides. Fans may debate which they prefer, but both sound endlessly suitable for wedding-themed mix CDs the world over.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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