[21 May 2012]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
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?