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neumu
Saturday, November 1, 2014 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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artist
Okkervil River
recording
Black Sheep Boy
Jagjaguwar
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rating


Listening to Okkervil River's Black Sheep Boy, one gets the sense of passion missing from much (but not all) chart music. In the same way models in magazine pages are airbrushed to perfection — traces of "imperfect" individuality lost in the quest for universal beauty — chart hits trade in generalities. I certainly don't feel like I know who the hell Robbie Williams is after all these years of earnest ballads and life-affirming hits.

Okkervil River, on the flipside, give their listeners everything of themselves. Okkervil River are the black sheep boys — probably were in high school, probably still are around the office at their menial day jobs. In the studio, though, their peculiar, individual sense of themselves is channeled into an unrelenting flow of musical expression that never consciously emotes. Their music emotes purely by virtue of its players seeming unable to not get a little worked up about their insecurities, their lives, their hates. It's music of necessity. It's like Bright Eyes — urgent, personal, pent-up — but better; less focused on the individual ego of the "creative genius," more about the group dynamics.

The band, like however many others, takes alt-country and runs it through the indie-rock wringer; the band, unlike however many others, does this with a sense of dynamics that makes the album's interplay between quiet and loud or soft and hard work throughout. "For Real," the second song here, fades in with a muted, acoustic guitar strum and voice before pounding the drums. It brings you up close to the speaker, commanding attentiveness to what's going on; then the kick-drum pedal tears a hole right through your goddamn eardrum.

Maybe you're into airbrushed models, maybe you're not. Or maybe you're into passionate music. Then again, maybe not.


by Ben Gook




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