Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Okkervil River

  • Black Sheep Boy [Jagjaguwar, 2005] **
  • Black Sheep Boy Appendix [Jagjaguwar, 2005] *
  • The Stage Names [Jagjaguwar, 2007] **
  • The Stand Ins [Jagjaguwar, 2008] ***
  • In the Rainbow Rain [ATO, 2018] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Black Sheep Boy [Jagjaguwar, 2005]
Crude but ultimately likable singer, willing band, decent melodist, better writer than the Decemberists' Colin Meloy ("For Real," "In a Radio Song"). **

Black Sheep Boy Appendix [Jagjaguwar, 2005]
Don't worry--he isn't really as sad as he makes his bindle sound ("No Key, No Plan," "Missing Children"). *

The Stage Names [Jagjaguwar, 2007]
The most affecting song is the least literary--and yet without storytelling the music would be styleless arrangements gathered around the intermittent tune ("Savannah Smiles," "Unless It's Kicks"). **

The Stand Ins [Jagjaguwar, 2008]
Will Sheff should stop worrying about what a star he is, or isn't, or doesn't want to be, or . . . --normal obscurity is within his means, I swear it ("Lost Coastlines," "On Tour With Zykos"). ***

In the Rainbow Rain [ATO, 2018]
Will Sheff's voice and temperament sweeten as his career finds its own level ("Famous Tracheotomies," "Don't Move Back to LA") *