Old 97's

Blame It on Gravity (New West)

Texas Platters

Old 97's

Blame It on Gravity (New West)

Apparently the Old 97's have found a musical formula that works and won't deviate from it in this lifetime. Why fix what ain't broken? Empirically, there's not much broken here. Blame It on Gravity is a perfectly listenable album, pleasant and upbeat and likely to help sustain the Dallas-bred quartet's reputation as a scorching live band. "The Fool" twists and turns its way from Phoenix, never looking back, while "Early Morning" is a boot-stomping rockabilly romp. The faux-maudlin "No Baby I" is the narrative of a childish musician not willing to own up to his lover's tears, so he encourages her to blame them on being a girl. Feminist complaints aside, the problem with this seventh LP is that the Old 97's suffer from being too comfortable. Who needs to be innovative when you can take the same alt.country charm all the way to the bank over and over again?

**.5

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