Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet


The Stage Names


Dynamics. That’s what you notice when Okkervil River’s 5th album, “The Stage Names” starts up. “Our Life is not a Movie, or Maybe” is likely the most infectious song I’ve heard that does not have a traditional repeated chorus. The second track “Unless It’s Kicks” runs in the same vein. Songwriter Will Sheff is practically singing prose. The band slows things down on the ballad “Savanna Smiles” a sad story of what seems to be father/daughter estrangement. Things rock again on the driving “Plus Ones” which does have a chorus, though an odd one. “A Girl in Port” is a song with an emotional build-up where once again dynamics play a key role. One hears this song as the sound track song played over a montage near the end of a well-done romantic film. It’s probably the keenest example of the cinematic nature of the album as a whole, which lyrically often makes references to film or theater. The last two tracks, “Title Track” and “John Allyn Smith” are both good, but don’t grab one as fast as many of the other songs do. The last song breaks into “Sloop John B” an old folk song done famously by the Beach Boys on Pet Sounds. - Rich T. Anderson

More reviews tagged #Rock

  • reviewed 08/2011

    Rise Ye Sunken Ships

  • reviewed 03/2008

    Seventh Tree

  • reviewed 04/2016

    Lukas Graham
    Lukas Graham

  • reviewed 05/2006

    One Way Drive

  • reviewed 05/2008

    Patti Rothberg
    Double Standards

  • reviewed 01/2007

    Phantom Punch

Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.