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The Stage Names

The Stage Names by Okkervil River
Released: Aug 2007
Label: Jagjaguwar
To follow-up the acclaimed Black Sheep Boy, Will Sheff and company remain nervy as they turn things up, beginning with a trio of sharp-edged up-tempo tunes before offering a string-heavy confessional in "Savannah Smiles." It isn't until the final number, "John Allyn Smith Sails," that Sheff really flexes the intellectual muscles, though; the tune gives a first-person account of poet John Berryman's suicide using a wink-and-nudge quote of "Sloop John B."
Nate Cavalieri