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Rhett Miller: A Sensitive Cad's Lament

Over the past 15 years, Old 97's frontman and solo singer Rhett Miller has come up with more good songs about bad love than just about any other songwriter. "Another Girlfriend," from his self-titled third solo album, is typically smart and typically bummed-out — a pretty country-rock ballad about a fling that can't happen, and with a depressive, two-timing narrator to boot.

Like a lot of Miller songs, "Another Girlfriend" feels both loose and carefully crafted: With pedal steel wafting over acoustic strumming, it shuffles along slowly but sturdily. The narrator is a sensitive cad who's stuck in a relationship (or two) he can't seem to get out of. He's met yet another woman — a heartbreaker who's "prettier still than an ocean" — and she's tempting him something fierce.

The guy manages to turn down the new love, and when he explains why, Miller's boyish, aching vocals provide a nice foil for the sleazeball's admission, which comes on the killer, weak-kneed chorus: "Last thing I need is another girlfriend / Two's enough for me / Two's enough / and you would make three."

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Christian Hoard