Okkervil River Black Sheep Boy Appendix

Okkervil River Black Sheep Boy Appendix
Sometimes you look back on a review and think of how you could have missed how great that album was at the time. Such, for me, was the case of Black Sheep Boy, as the fast analysis belied the fact that Will Sheff struck a big messy nerve with his large arrangements and been-through-it-all voice. A consummate grower, it’s now a welcome addition to the regular stack of CDs. With this Appendix, now is the time to set the record straight and praise Sheff for his ever-increasing ability to be earnest yet craft undeniably catchy tunes. The crown of this EP has to be “No Key, No Plan,” where Sheff’s soaring, cracked delivery makes the best impression and would stand up to anything on Black Sheep Boy. Also, the flexibility and unofficial nature of the EP allows Sheff to play with interesting string arrangements and other sonic ideas, best found in “A Garden,” meaning his mind is still alive with the electricity of newer ideas. While probably not as effective as your first introduction to Okkervil River, Appendix is almost essential for those belatedly bewitched by Sheff’s obvious talents. (Jagjaguwar)