The Grand Theatre, Vol. 1

  • Record Label: New West
  • Release Date: Oct 12, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
Buy On
  1. Soon Hammond's "You Smoke Too Much" is fitting right in. As together as can be expected, and as Miller requests with a hint of desperation, "Please Hold On While the Train Is Moving."
  2. Dec 21, 2010
    Seventeen years and eight albums into their career; The Grand Theatre Volume One is a welcomed second wind.
  3. Saying The Grand Theatre, Vol. 1 is a return to form unnecessarily belittles the last few Old 97's albums that came before it, but calling it their best album since Fight Songs is just about right.
  4. Dec 20, 2010
    The last couple 97's discs were perhaps negatively affected by frontman and principal songwriter Rhett Miller's burgeoning solo career, but here he seems doubly inspired, and the band charges alongside, particularly Ken Bethea, whose guitar play remains snaky and evocative.
  5. Oct 26, 2010
    It's this aura of creepiness that makes The Grand Theatre one of the band's best albums to date.
  6. When Old 97's are on--which they are most of the time on their eighth studio album--they're very, very on. Rhett Miller's writing is the definition of neatly sculpted songcraft, with every piece firmly in place, and not a bit of fat.
  7. Jul 6, 2011
    Despite its flaws, Vol. 2 is the second-best thing the Olds have done in a decade.
  8. 70
    The Old 97's latest effort mimics the end of the workweek. At first, the possibilities seem endless. Every moment, just like every possible meaning, could be the one you've been looking for.
  9. This multivolume project will still trigger honky-tonk mosh pits: See "A State of Texas," which suggests you can be true to your roots even when you've outgrown them.
  10. 70
    Despite frontman Rhett Miller's nice-guy tendencies, Old 97's are way more fun when he gives in to his bitchy side--which is large and in charge on The Grand Theatre, runaway-train backbeats and all.
  11. Mojo
    Apr 4, 2011
    This is passionate music, delivered with verve. [Mar 2011, p.104]
  12. Taken on its own merits, though, Volume One is mostly a success, and it's great to hear the alt-country vets sounding more alternative and more country than they have in years.
  13. It is wild, slightly unfocused, totally committed, and furiously paced. (Also, it is possibly a bit drunk). But, though this lifts some of the tracks up somewhat, few of them have the depth that one would have wished for.
  14. Uncut
    It's likable enough, but pretty much interchangeable with the seven studio albums that preceded it. [Nov 2010, p.94]
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 21, 2010
    Fantastic start, weak finish, but best album in a decade by far! Look forward to part II coming in May.