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The Messenger Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The seventh full-length solo release for the Old 97's founding member was recorded over five days with producer/musician Sam Cohen.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Nov 12, 2018
    Instead of muscling through on charisma and bluster, this guy pushes himself in new directions and ends up with perhaps his best solo album since 2002’s The Instigator.
  2. Nov 12, 2018
    As a vocalist and songwriter, Miller is in solid form here, though as with most of his solo work, this lacks a bit of the heart and soul he brings to the Old 97's. But The Messenger has a stronger individual personality that most of Miller's solo work, and he and Sam Cohen make a good team in the studio.
  3. Nov 12, 2018
    To his credit, he owns every bit of it, and as confessionals, they’re so hooky and well-calibrated, they feel like absolutions even when they don’t sell themselves as such.
  4. 60
    Generally missing, though, are hooks that bring you back for another listen. The songs are melodic and easy on the ears if not particularly memorable.
  5. Uncut
    Nov 15, 2018
    Once a songwriter with a deft facility for catchy hooks, his melodies droop under the lethargic tempos, turning his self-deprecation into something like self-absorption. [Jan 2019, p.22]