Okkervil River I Am Very Far

Okkervil River I Am Very Far
It happened to Elvis Costello; it happened to the Replacements; and on I Am Very Far, it's happening to Will Sheff: the moment in one's musical career when svelte musical choices supersede "feeling it," when being a songwriter means writing for the song. Over 11 well-tempered tracks, Will Sheff's Okkervil River promote mood music on I Am Very Far, the band's sixth LP. Helming the boards for the first time since 2005's Black Sheep Boy, Sheff brings in orchestral and choral arrangements, employing each differently, as the former beautifully accent dynamic album opener "The Valley," while the latter shape the mnemonically catchy "Hanging from a Hit." From the jaunty rhythm that defines "Piratess" to the docile, quiet storm mood of "Show Yourself" and the barely audible, wrenched guitar sounds on "Your Past Life as a Blast," I Am Very Far is as adventurous and passion-filled as anything Okkervil River have released. The choices are just better informed and adult. (Jagjaguwar)