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I Am Very Far

I Am Very Far by Okkervil River
Released: May 2011
Label: Jagjaguwar
Okkervil River main man Will Sheff has always had a way with words. I Am Very Far, the band's sixth album, is never short of poetic prose -- the music does its best just to keep up. "I need a myth, brought back to life by a kiss," he cries out, with the tone of a young Billy Joel, amid a hailstorm of instruments. Opening with an ominous swirl of strings and synths, the band never lets up: Pianos are stabbed, violins viciously struck, guitars painstakingly plucked. In "The Valley," Sheff sings of the "rock 'n' roll dead," and he sounds determined to wake them.
Stephanie Benson