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Letters: Old 97's

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Many listeners responded to the music review in Wednesday's show: Robert Christgau reviewed a new album by the band The Old 97s.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

And now, to your e-mails in response to yesterday's show. Many of you wrote in about Robert Christgau's review of the new album by the band the Old 97's.

(Soundbite of song "Dance with Me")

Mr. RHETT MILLER (Vocalist, Old 97's): (Singing) …takes her hand tenderly and he whispers sweet surrender, nothing is how he feels about girls like you…

SIEGEL: Christgau speculated that that song on the album called "Dance With Me" might be about the breakup of the singer's marriage. But Thomas Tutt(ph) from Forth Worth, Texas is one of several listeners who thought that speculation was inappropriate. He writes: Why does Christgau insist on reading biography into Miller's song? If we apply the same sort of logic to the Old 97's earlier album, "Wreck Your Life," we'd be expected to believe, among other things, that Miller let a drunk 17-year-old named Doreen drive him around Queens, that his pill-popping friend, Victoria Lee, pushed her lover overboard, and that out of three vices - his wife, other women and whiskey - he'd give up everything but the whiskey.

Well, Adrian Mattis(ph) of Houston thanked us for the review. He writes: My family and I are longtime fans of the Old 97's, and when my daughters, Mallory, age eight, and Sophia, age five, heard Robert Christgau's review of the band's new album, they squealed with delight. It's not often we hear our favorite band on the radio. Thanks for brightening an otherwise rainy afternoon.

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