Okkervil River: In the Rainbow Rain (ATO) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Okkervil River

In the Rainbow Rain


Apr 26, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Okkervil River vocalist Will Sheffmuch like The National’s Matt Berningerhas the kind of voice that, regardless of lyrics, conveys an inherent and infinite melancholy. That’s something that’s pervaded his entire body of work, whether in the forlorn and simple majesty of early Shearwaterthe band he co-founded soon after Okkervil River and then left a few years lateror within the increasingly complex and ambitious compositions of Okkervil River.

That’s perhaps not better embodied than by the opening track on this ninth studio record, “Famous Tracheotomies,” in which Sheff relates his own experience of that surgery as a child to those of famous people throughout the ages. What, on paper, could come across as an irreverent list of Hollywood Reporter-style tabloid news flashes, becomes a touching tribute.

There’s direct emotion here, toonamely on the spectral slow-motion soundscapes of “Shelter Song,” the dazzling, quasi-tropical grooves of “Family Song,” and the earnest lilt of “Don’t Move Back to LA,” a smooth-pop plea to friends of Sheff’s who have left him in Brooklyn and headed to the West Coast city. Yet while the sentiment is sincere in all of those songs, there’s also an element of whimsy in them tooperhaps because of the glossy ‘70s studio rock sheen that underpins them, and the other tracks, on this record.

The result is an album that’s deeply affecting, but whicheven if it isdoesn’t feel quite as personal or authentic as much of the band’s previous output. It’s also their most anachronistic record to date. Neither of those things are inherently bad, butdespite the fact that the forlorn splendor of Sheff’s voice is on full display on “External Actor” and “Human Being Song,” the closing tracks of In the Rainbow Rainit does mean this album takes more time than usual to burrow into your heart. (www.okkervilriver.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Office furniture Dubai
May 14th 2018

Much of In the Rainbow Rain is content to lean on threadbare platitudes. Death and rebirth figured prominently on Okkervil River’s fiercely personal 2016 album Away, but on the band’s follow-up, In the. Label: ATO.

Chloe Snead
June 25th 2020

What does it mean for a record to be anachronistic?