These guys have been making music for a long time now. Formed way back in 1998, they have a lot of experience under their belts. They have already amassed an impressive catalog throughout that time together releasing 5 albums and an equal number of EPs. I am Very Far marks their sixth full-length release. Their continued growth is the most overpowering aspect of the album. Okkervil River has come into near-perfect form on this album and it is a definite treat for your ears. The more it is listened to the more it shines. I am Very Far is not very far from perfection.
The open track, “The Valley”, comes out running. Heavy on the guitar and particular the drums you are immediately thrown into the overall feeling of the album. You can tell immediately the hard work and devotion Okkervil River put into this album. It is the culmination of everything they have done before and you can already feel that on the first track. This feeling only grows with the rest of the album.
The most fun track on the album has to be “White Shadow Waltz”. The beat and accompanying backup instruments just make you want to move around. At the same time that it lifts you up it is also brings you down. At points not sure how to feel, but in the end you are left with an overall feeling of fun. It is obvious on this track and many of the others that Okkervil River really loves what they are doing.
The album wraps up with slower song, “The Rise”. If there is one thing that can be seen in this track it is their ability to create amazing music in many different ways. This song beats into its significance within the album and you see the complete talent of the entire band. All of the start-up bands out there can learn from Okkervil River. They have been around for almost 15 years now and it shows. Continuing to play music with the same guys works better than anything else out there. Okkervil River figured each other out and grew off of one another. Many people’s first listen to I am Very Far came when they played it live on NPR. That was only a taste. The studio album shows their greatness and is hard to put down.
WPGU Music Staff Rating: W-P-G and ½
Key Tracks: “The Valley,” “White Shadow Waltz,” and “The Rise”.
Recommended if you like: Dear Tick, The Dodos and Blitzen Trapper.
W = Poor
W-P = Fair
W-P-G = Great
W-P-G-U = An instant classic!