Rethinking Okkervil River

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I’ve written before about my love for Jonathan Meiburg/Shearwater, but it is high time I stopped brushing his former bandmate/band under the rug. I never actively disliked Will Sheff or Okkervil River, but I wasn’t chomping at the bit to delve deeper. Until now. Consider me chomping.

“no one wants to hear about your 97th tear
so dry your eyes or let it go uncried, my dear
i am all out of love to mouth into your ear
and not above letting a love song disappear before it’s written”

The opening stanza from “Plus Ones” was more than enough to bring my ears to their knees. Sometimes you just need the right hand to show you the way. (And sometimes, you try and try, despite all efforts, and still don’t get the big deal about The Get Up Kids.) This is what real songwriting is about, digging deeper, dropping poignant insights like as many scattered pieces of straw. Real songwriting doesn’t have to be shiny or sound novel or kick your ass on the first listen. The charm is in the subtleties and there’s skill between the lines that simply isn’t to be picked up at the dollar store by any 2-bit with a guitar. So for the moment I’m back to listening for that little extra something that makes the listening that much more worth while.

And if you didn’t pick up on this fact, Will Sheff has that little something.

Plus Ones
[from The Stage Names|buy]
Calling and Not Calling My Ex
[from The Stand-Ins|buy]

  1. I agree, you just have to look at albums like Black Sheep Boy and The Stage Names to see how talented musically and lyrically Okkervil River are!
    Will Sheff is a genius.

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