Monday, May 16, 2011

Album Review: Okkervil River - I Am Very Far

Mang it's been a pretty good year so far for Indie Folk albums, started by The Decemberists release which was decent (a pass mark atleast) we have been expose to another album by The Mountain Goats (solid release), an incredible album by Fleet Foxes in the form of Helplessness Blues and even the surprisingly cool No Color by The Dodos. Well with Okkervil River's new album I Am Very Far we have another winner, this is great!

Now to the album which starts of really cool, stripped down and simple with just an acoustic guitar and single drum beat accompanying the vocals, powerful as always. The song immediately starts to build up to a fuller sound, something that is very prevalent on the album, the added instruments make this a strong piece to begin the album. The album goes in a different direction with Piratess being very much a vocals track, Will Sheff showing off a cooler side to the uncool folk vocalist he usually (yeah, folk singers aren't cool) the track even includes a weird electro/noisy/noodly bit in it, why? I don't know but it doesn't detract from the overall strength of the song and merely separates the first half from the second.

Back comes the acoustic something we are all very familiar with when listening to an Okkervil River album, this album does feel loud, but not too loud to ruin the quality of the album, the intensity of this album picks up enough from the last and really gets this album going, Sheff again commanding the song with a full background of music. The burst of noise to end the track makes this even better. The tempo of this album changes with every track a sadder track in Lay Of The Last Survivor slows things down nicely and just as this ends it picks itself back up off the deck, thankfully it doesn't run on an fast, slow, fast, slow track list thankfully and the middle of this album really slows down, with Show Yourself being the pick of the bunch, so stripped back and sad sounding it really does a great job in bringing out the emotion in Sheff, building throughout the track to a much louder moment with a nice instrumental piece and Sheff telling us "I've had enough".

Thankfully I haven't had enough of this album and full, loud sounding album continues to keep me interested even with this album over 50 minutes in total and not being that different track from track in sound. This isn't at all the most intricate or over the top folk album, but the subtle changes throughout keep you wanting more, the whole band seem to be working so hard throughout and have reaped another great album.

Overall Rating: 8.5

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