This is sounding like a pleasant little surprise. His work outside of the 97's has been pretty erratic. 2002's The Instigator is fantastic and holds up incredibly well over time. It may be one of the best pure pop records of the decade. 2006's The Believer is really terrible. And now comes his self-titled release, which landed in people's iTunes libraries on Tuesday. Only 1.5 listens in, this sounds much closer to 2002 than 2006. Rhett's at his best when he doesn't push too hard, and Rhett Miller sounds pretty subdued.