album::Okkervil River:The Stage Names

By far one of the best records released last summer was Okkervil River’s “The Stage Names” on JAGJAGUWAR. I really think the album is worth it just for opener Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe which is the best starter i’ve heard in a long time. The song just grows and its sort of haunted, but also grandiose and just fun. It isn’t to say that there aren’t other great ones on “The Stage Names” either. A Hand To Take Hold Of The Scene has a bass line reminscent of some Joe Jackson grooves…total swagger without being Andrew Dice Clayish. In fact a lot of this record has swagger (and now that i’ve said it a couple of times in a row I will never use that word again, i’m officially placing it under my list of banned words along side “eclectic”). Furthermore, another favorite of mine is Plus Ones, which might be about the necessity of recognizing when the glory has faded or something sentimental anyway. Finally, I really like the orchestration on You Can’t Hold The Hand Of The Rock N Roll Man which just travels well and has nice interludes and storied lyrics, and takes some simple riffs and really blows them out.

Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe (KEXP Austin City Limits 16 March 2007):

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