Album of the Day
With their second Elektra album (and fourth overall), Texas quartet Old 97's came up with their most accessible set to date. Recorded in New Orleans, FIGHT SONGS features more polish to the production and more structure to the material than previous releases, and “Murder (Or A Heart Attack),” “Oppenheimer” and “19” are among the many standouts. For a band so linked to the No Depression movement, singer Rhett Miller sounds pretty forlorn in places (“Lonely Holiday”), but his feisty determination never wavers. There's no shortage of country licks on FIGHT SONGS, but the 1999 album delivers a knockout punch to anyone who would consign Old 97's to an alt-country pigeonhole.