Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (Jagjaguwar) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Okkervil River

Black Sheep Boy (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)


Dec 04, 2015 Issue #55 - November/December 2015 - EL VY Bookmark and Share

Looking back with 10 years of hindsight, does Okkervil River's breakout on their third album Black Sheep Boy feel inevitable? The short answer is no, which is why the record maintains such a special place in the universe, and why, a decade later, it has received the deluxe reissue treatment. One could easily argue that the band's second album, Down the River of Golden Dreams, in spite of greater maturity and growing complexity, wasn't as good as their debut, Don't Fall in Love With Everyone You See. But Black Sheep Boy was a giant leap to a whole new level, with dynamic songs that ranged in emotion and pace while retaining a great aura of danger and mystery.

The reissue packs 30 songs (including the 11 album tracks and the seven song Black Sheep Boy Appendix), showing off the band's tremendous and expanding range. Like all good retrospectives, this edition provides both context and a refresher on how damn good the album was to begin with. That there's such a treasure trove of material from this era isn't surprising, but it is remarkable to hear. It's a thrilling moment, and the reissue captures it in all of its glory, from the first explosion of "For Real" to the unfurling of emotion of "Black Sheep Boy #4" to the messy stomp of "Last Love Song for Now." This is the point in the film where songwriter Will Sheff and company have just discovered their superpowers and are flying through the night sky to see just how much they can really do. The answer, for the moment, was whatever they could dream up. (www.okkervilriver.com)

Author rating: 9/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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