John R. Miller’s Brand New LP, “Deprecated,” Welcomes Listeners With Open Arms

Today, John R. Miller’s Deprecated is hitting shelves, airwaves, and everything in between. With a dreamy, folksy style and lyrics that can both rouse and inspire, we can’t help but turn our speakers up just a little bit louder.

Can an album be considered cozy? What about a song feeling like a warm embrace? Why can’t we consider music to be homey? The answers to all these questions are as follows:

Yes, an album, such as Deprecated, can be considered cozy. Effortlessly so, actually.

A song can, in fact, feel like a warm embrace, and a great example of that is “Old Dance Floor” off of singer-songwriter John R. Miller’s new album.

We believe music can be homey, welcoming, and intimate in all the best and most heart-warming ways, too. The intricately crafted, homegrown stylings of Deprecated depict that impeccably.

The Tulsa-tinged folk rock record that is Deprecated is everything a storyteller could only hope – only dream – to create. There are elements of vintage singer-songwriter influences holding this album in place, acting as the backbone to these dreamy and evocative country soundscapes. At the same time, though, the stories and emotions at the forefront of these songs are refreshingly modern and nuanced.

It’s hard not to reflect on the life we once lived and the effects that growing up has our adult perspectives and real world antics. For John R. Miller himself, it was clear that having a blank page to write his future on was imperative to not just the music he creates (and this album that came out of this period), but the way that he looked at himself as an artist, a man, and an introspective human being with a life lived and a life still being lived. 

Two songs that standout in this vein from the musician’s new record are “Borrowed Time”  and “What’s Left of the Valley.” These are spectacular examples of expertly produced and emotionally written indie folk tracks. While many of the songs off Deprecated come across as this blend of Jason Isbell and Taylor Swift if they were covering the likes of “Alice’s Restaurant,” there is still this overwhelming sense of authenticity.

Sure, you can compare John R Miller to a variety of these country-esque indie rock records and their respective artists. At the same time, the relationship this musician has with his music is wonderfully original and massively profound in terms of his very own personality, life story, and emotions. He is reaching out gingerly and capturing the feelings that come with finding yourself – at any age. Even the album artwork in all of it’s blue-toned glory emits a warm glow of contemplation.

There is no one box to put Miller in, let alone his sound, but there is such relatable, subtle vulnerability that his vocal tone and songwriting has that sort of embodies the pieces of music – and pieces of his heart – that he puts out in the world. There are harrowing moments and poetic prowess laced into this coming-of-age story that is far from the likes of any John Hughes movie. It is a later in life, socially and emotionally wise look at how storytelling in the Americana genre can be truly reflective of personal growth.

Every song is its own composition; a narrative retelling of events that have been manipulated over the course of time, as perspectives evolve, and as people come and go. Every one of the 11 songs off Deprecated own up to this idea that everyday life, growing up, settling in, and learning about yourself first hand can be oh-so intriguing, ever compelling, and thoughtfully empathetic.

Like your favorite blanket, a trip to your parents house, or a scrapbooking session, John R. Miller’s Deprecated is comforting and heavy, memory laden and illuminating.