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Remaking a Mix-Tape Staple

Rhett Miller ought to be a household name by now: With model-esque good looks, considerable stage presence, and an arsenal of catchy pop songs, the charismatic frontman for alt-country favorite Old 97's doesn't want for raw materials.

Always seemingly on the brink of a commercial breakout, Miller has taken to alternating albums by his main band with more overtly pop-friendly solo projects. He's just released arguably his most commercially accessible disc, The Believer, and "Question" closes the album with a sweet slice-of-life sketch detailing a marriage proposal. Short on grand gestures and free of diamond rings, the song instead finds drama in subtler emotions and interactions, before magnifying the moment's importance in the chorus.

An earlier incarnation of the song -- with just Miller and an acoustic guitar, as opposed to the longer, dreamier, more fleshed-out version here -- appears on 2001's excellent Old 97's album Satellite Rides. Fans may debate which they prefer, but both sound endlessly suitable for wedding-themed mix CDs the world over.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson
Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)