Top positive review
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Stunning and Accomplished Album
on 8 December 2013
I got this the day it came out but have waited til now to write a review as I wasn't sure about it at first and that is often a very good thing. As this is one of those albums that is a real grower, until one day all the pieces fall into place and you spend the next fortnight finding as much time as possible to listen to it.
This is Will Sheff making a return to his youth back in the 1980's in hometown Meriden, NH. These are songs about growing up and a small world with the promise of so much more, best friends forever and summers remembered with rose tinted glasses. Jonathan Meiburg (Sheerwater) makes a much welcomed contribution with banjo, harmony and vocals and we have a harpsichord played by the uber talented Justin Sherburn. But the real talent is as always Will Sheff and his soaring vocals and imagery of lyrics that are closer to poetry than a `pop tune'.
There are so many stand out tracks here `Lido Pier Suicide Car' is excellent and check out the versions on YouTube. `Stay Young' is an homage to the music of the eighties complete with fuzzy synth and if you try dancing to it, it only works if you do it eighties stylie, so large shoulder pads and rubbish bouffant may actually help. `Down the deep river' is almost anthemic, especially in length but it could go on all day as far as I am concerned, mind you then it would probably be `prog rock'.
The opening number `It was my season' is one of those that yearns for the golden days and all that was promised and is just brilliant. There are so many instruments on this album and it all works including trumpet, lap steel and harmonica. The only track that seems out of place is `Walking without Frankie' which is a bit slow and brooding and brings the pace down a tad. The two final tracks are a joy especially album closer `Black Nemo' which is up there with any of Okkervil's best work. I am a bit biased as I have loved this band for four years but I still think this is a simply excellent life affirming good piece of music - even the cover art is great,; ok gush over I am off for another listen.