Okkervil River Down the River of Golden Dreams

Okkervil River Down the River of Golden Dreams
Okkervil River is, at core, a four-piece collective that make an especially rootsy brand of indie pop. Each track on Down the River of Golden Dreams is strikingly orchestrated, beginning with acoustic guitars and adding several layers including Wurlitzer, Rhodes pianos and pedal steel. It’s a shame then that, when excited, lead singer Will Sheff’s lead vocals become as grating as sandpaper on a molar. This “enthusiasm” works on tracks individually, as it adds new depths of emotion in a Connor Oberst kind of way, but over the course of the album it gets, at best, slightly frustrating. This is really the only complaint one could have about the disc though. The songs are fantastic and the album’s mood is absolute in its concentration and sophistication. A melancholy and drifting work, Down the River of Golden Dreams makes cause to overlook the odd vocal hissy fit, to see a beautiful bigger picture. (Jagjaguwar)