Miles Nielsen’s dad Rick is the iconic guitarist for power pop trailblazers Cheap Trick. Though he clearly shares his father’s love of the Beatles, the younger Nielsen carves out his own musical identity on this, his second solo project. Presents the Rusted Hearts is full of thoughtful, comfy-cozy roots rock that recalls the good-time vibe of Being There-era Wilco. It’s an accomplished if not particularly distinguished set, but Nielsen’s warm enthusiasm ultimately wins the day. Is it any wonder that Beatles-meets-Big Star numbers such as “The Grain” and “Overrated” are among the highlights?
John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.