Okkervil River
The Silver Gymnasium


3.5
great

Review

by RivalSkoomaDealer USER (15 Reviews)
March 25th, 2014 | 11 replies | 357 views


Release Date: 09/03/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Will Sheff’s midlife crisis.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

The year is 1986. The setting is the quaint little town of Meriden, New Hampshire. The narrator of our story, ten year old William Sheff, takes us on an audible journey through the formative years of the average American youth in the late eighties. Listeners have plenty to relate to on these tracks, which deal with themes like young love, suicide, and the longing to leap beyond the bounds of sterile suburban comfort. Sheff’s dreams, like many of our own, are bigger than a 401K and a steady job.

Fast forward to the present. As it turns out, the town hasn’t changed all that much since you left it behind almost two decades ago. The rumor mill still churns amongst its neighborly citizens. Shopping centers still sit as empty as they were when you left it, opting instead to build a brand new building for that new Applebees to go in. Sheff’s homecoming was his inspiration for last year’s The Silver Gymnasium, a bildungsroman that sees Okkervil River at their most accessible sound yet. It is their testament to growing up, growing old, and coming to terms with everything those inevitable years entail.

One of the most admirable qualities of the record is that rather than focus on the stories themselves, Sheff uses them to paint a picture of how they shaped his adulthood. His lyrics reflect not just on the events, but why the events were important. As with previous Okkervil River albums, these songs are simply a joy to listen to. Bright chords permeate these tracks with sunny piano keys interlaying Sheff’s soulful vocal melodies. They gleam with an 80s nostalgia that brings to mind classics like Springsteen’s Born In the U.S.A. or Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever. It’s like watching The Goonies for the fortieth time. It never gets old.



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user ratings (61)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
RivalSkoomaDealer
March 25th 2014



511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shocked this had no review yet.

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tommygun
March 25th 2014



21345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it had an excellent review but it got deleted rip

tommygun
March 25th 2014



21345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet alb

zakalwe
March 25th 2014



4835 Comments


Is this better than Black Sheep Boy which for me is one part diamond 3 parts steaming dump.

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RivalSkoomaDealer
March 25th 2014



511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I suppose it depends on preference. This is a pretty different animal altogether atmospherically.

tommygun
March 25th 2014



21345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

idk haven't jammed that one but this is good and foxxxy approved

zakalwe
March 25th 2014



4835 Comments


That'll do for me dude, I'll give it a whirl.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
March 26th 2014



7791 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

AOTY

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ShitsofRain
March 26th 2014



4689 Comments


didnt u review it

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mryrtmrnfoxxxy
March 26th 2014



7791 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

yea the mods didnt like it i guess idk

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2014



2675 Comments


mad props to this album for the record sleeve's art - it's pretty nuts.

the music's great too, but priorities first



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