Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Out today: Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy (Definitive Edition)

This is the definitive double-disc set which brings together Okkervil River's ground-breaking Black Sheep Boy project in its entirety - including the original album, the 7-song Black Sheep Boy Appendix EP, the song "The Next Four Months" (originally released on the "For Real" CD single), the "For Real" video as well as a new video of a magical alternate slower take of "No Key, No Plan". Enjoy this panoramic perspective of a modern masterpiece and one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the new millennium.

Black Sheep Boy is Okkervil River's most ambitious and cinematic record to date, a love story and adult fable carved in lacerating rock and roll, desolate late-night country weepers, and a few shining moments of sheer, shameless pop. Along the way, the compositions of Will Sheff evoke the mature songcraft of Leonard Cohen's New Skin for the Old Ceremony, the sophistication of Scott Walker's Scott 4, the shambling slow-motion bravado of Neil Young's On the Beach, and the raw nerves and trick effects of Big Star's Third/Sister Lovers.

The Appendix is not just a companion piece to Black Sheep Boy; it's also a condensed, alternate vision of that record's imagery and themes, with the ultimate intent to exhaust and destroy both. This ambitious mini-album rounds up and reworks the band's favorite unfinished songs (tracked for the full-length) and then punctuates and bookends them in brand-new compositions.

"Will Sheff, leader of the Austin indie-rock band Okkervil River, writes like a novelist. His songs are full of elegant phrases and unexpected images that tell - or don't quite tell - stories of characters trying to figure out if they need each other...The marvelous new Okkervil River album Black Sheep Boy should advance his cult further."

- Kelefa Sanneh, New York Times

From Black Sheep Boy (Definitive Edition) - Jagjaguwar

Okkervil River - "No Key, No Plan"
Okkervil River - "Black"