Okkervil River - The Stage Names
- Artist: Okkervil River
- Album: The Stage Names
- Label: Jagjaguwar
- Year of Release: 2007
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: MusicCritic on 2011-05-11
"What gives this mess some grace unless it's fiction?" This question is posed early on on Okkervil River's fifth LP, The Stage Names. Truly the words of a band in love with their own ability to weave dramatic stories into their songs - and rightfully so.
Frontman Will Sheff should be every bit the indie star that James Mercer and Isaac Brock are. He has a unique ability - not unlike Colin Meloy of the Decemberists - to create a poetic narrative that lends itself seamlessly to a melodic song. Lyrically, he's so smart that even when he's being legitimately funny he never once puts his band at risk of being labelled a "comedy band."
Add to that the band's stellar musicianship; Okkervil River originally formed in the late '90s as a three-piece, but there are no fewer than 11 contributing musicians to The Stage Names. Together, they show great versatility - from the uplifting rock of 'Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe' and 'Plus Ones' to the beautiful melancholy of 'Savannah Smiles.'
The Stage Names finds Okkervil River at their best and most confident, and when all is said and done, it will be remembered as one of the best of year.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.