Rhett Miller, lead singer for the Old 97's, has a distinctive voice that would make me listen to him is he read names out of the phone book.  He's also a terrific guitarist who can shift from exciting riffs to melodic, emotional sounds from song to song.  The Interpreter has Rhett covering some of his favorite songs.

Recorded live at the Largo club in Florida before its closing, The Interpreter has a wide variety of songs done by Rhett and his guitar (with occasional piano support).  This near-acoustic approach fits in very well with songs like Simon and Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound" or Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome when You Go."  But it also works for songs that are hardly folk-sounding, whether it's David Bowie ("Queen Bitch"), the Beatles ("I'll Cry Instead") or a Pixies-Ramones mash-up.

Rhett Miller's vocals are terrific through the album, and his guitar works keeps up with his voice perfectly.  The end result is that The Interpreter is an impressive and varied album.

Overall grade: A
Reviewed by James Lynch

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