Okkervil River: ‘I Am Very Far’ Review

Artist: Okkervil River
Album: I Am Very Far
Label: Jagjaguwar

Using 2010 to serve as back up band for the legendary/mythical Roky Erickson (watch “You’re Gonna Miss Me”), Okkervil River is back with I Am Very Far. Marking a swift and dramatic separation from the style of their two previous albums, their sixth is guaranteed to fester in your brain for days, weeks, months, and years.

Frontman Will Sheff serves as producer for Very Far, no doubt owing to his production experience from 2010’s True Love Cast Out Evil with the aforementioned Erickson. The darker nature of Very Far points to it being a more personal album for the band. Unlike many bands that may lose your attention with a change of approach, Okkervil River gets it right.

Opening track “The Valley” rings of vintage Jeff Lynn and has quickly become one of my favorite opener tracks of recent memory. As a whole, this album is one that can be listened to from beginning to end. High points are “Piratess”, “Rider”, and “We Need a Myth”. But honestly, the whole album is a high point; have I ever lied to you?

Listen to this album, the nuances of everything, and realize that this is a modern epic in the same vein as Pet Sounds, or Dark Side of the Moon. Seriously, this is a tremendous effort from Okkervil River, reminiscent of a pre-sellout Arcade Fire (just remember… they Used to Wait… like the rest of us). Okkervil River is well deserving of high acclaim, and I really hope they get it. They resurrected a legend, ceaselessly put forth great albums, and dammit they’re from Austin.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Written by Brandon Bond

[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rider/id434131418?uo=4" title="Okkervil_River-I_Am_Very_Far_(Album)" text="I Am Very Far on iTunes"] I Am Very Far on Amazon

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