Okkervil River - Away
Critic Score
Based on 17 reviews
2016 Ratings: #199 / 758
User Score
Based on 49 ratings
2016 Ratings: #222
September 9, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
ATO / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Uncut

It may be OR’s best album yet, even if it doesn’t much sound like the albums immediately preceding it.

85
The Line of Best Fit

It may take some time for casual fans to fully embrace the record’s shifting sound, but anybody who has ever dealt with loss can get something out of Away.

85
Under The Radar

Nothing feels forced here. It's just a tidal wave of grief and the wide-eyed wonderment of being alive, as poignant as anything Nick Drake ever penned, rife with resigned dignity.

83
Consequence of Sound

On his most patient and considered record yet, he’s full of questions about his life, friends, family, career, and what it all means, what may be a midlife crisis on record.

80
Sputnikmusic

This record sounds like a freeing experience, an attempt to make a fresh start without sacrificing a single piece of history.

80
American Songwriter

An immediate comparison that comes to mind is Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, though by no means as expressive or adventurous. Away is, however, one of Okkervil River’s prettiest records to date.

80
PopMatters

If it is hard to imagine a more different-sounding follow up to The Silver Gymnasium, it is harder to imagine a better one.

80
musicOMH

It feels like a Sheff solo album in all but name, yet the change in approach has breathed new life into his work and helped him deliver an album that is both impressively bold in scope and magically intimate.

70
Loud and Quiet

Presented as a clean slate, the record’s nine tracks are a great musical compendium of everything Okkervil River have been in their career.

70
AllMusic

The paucity of any full-on rockers may drive some listeners back to the group's more propulsive, earlier works, but the sullen, sweet, and soulful Away rewards a patient ear.

70
Pitchfork

Away’s scope may be personal, but its takeaways are universal. It’s a touching album about moving on, about the satisfaction of leaving the past behind before it leaves you.

70
No Ripcord

Away may only appeal to those who are truly committed to Shelf’s unyieldingly wry judgment, but the score that accompanies it is beautifully intoxicating.

60
Exclaim!

This freedom and excitement that makes Away sound more like the first chapter of a new book, one that Sheff and company seem eager to write without a clue where they're going, armed with a vast palette of instruments and influences.

60
The Guardian

A fragmented, frustrated mindset has contributed to a sprawling, inconsistent album with brief flourishes of verdant beauty.

60
Slant Magazine

Despite some conceptual shakiness and a few instances of turgid sentimentality, Sheff is doing fine on his own, continuing to detail unsteady emotional ground with a characteristic mixture of self-assurance and existential dread.

Doofy
82
I have a secret...I used to think these guys sucked pretty hard.

Maybe they did too (hint: 'Okkervil River RIP'), either way for whatever reason this album is a little different to their other work.

Here they aim square for 'pastoral splendour' and hit it out the park.
CheapandLethal
70
Worth a listen
78
This album feels like home for me
67
A very long and meandering listen, although the band almost definitely intended it that way. The arrangements and instrumentation here are quite lovely, but the melodies don't really catch the ear and the tempo drags, making it easy to tune the record out. Rewards a very patient listen; probably most exciting to preexisting fans.
Fallendomino
70
Will Sheff turns down the volume to deliver a grandiose album full of melancholy. While the beautiful orchestration an deeply personal lyrics carve the way for a larger-than-life album, the lackluster melodies bog down the entire project.

Notable Songs: "Okkervil River R.I.P."; "Mary on a Wave"; "Frontman in Heaven"
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#33/Gigwise
#44/Uncut
#77/Earbuddy

Track List

  1. Okkervil River R.I.P.
  2. Call Yourself Renee
  3. The Industry
  4. Come Indiana Through the Smoke
  5. Judy on a Street
  6. She Would Look for Me
  7. Mary on a Wave
  8. Frontman in Heaven
  9. Days Spent Floating (In the Half Between)
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Added on: May 18, 2016