Okkervil River Black Sheep Boy

Okkervil River Black Sheep Boy
A hot oozing slice of over-emoting heart-pouring, Okkervil River’s latest album seemingly comes from the same camp of emo-stalwart Bright Eyes; yet lead man, Will Sheff, mixes the proceedings up with varied instruments and some strong rock numbers. Those sick of pining and lamentable lyrics like “You’re out singing songs and I’m down shouting names at the flickerless screen, going fucking insane,” may want to look elsewhere, but you’d be missing out on some lovely music. Indeed, the arrangement of these songs and strong trumpet and string flourishes truly bring this album to life and luckily drown out the most besotted of moping couplets. “The Latest Toughs” is the most upbeat, with a poppy beat, handclaps and muscular, rough vocals, while the more downbeat “A King and A Queen,” brings to mind Calexico with its Tex-Mex inflections. The strongest, though, is the epic “So Come Back, I Am Waiting,” which rises to the occasion through its deep bass and cello and the raw vocal delivery of Sheff. Sure, the stories here may be depressing, but better to ignore them and just float along to the breathtaking soundtrack. (Jagjaguwar)