The Silver Gymnasium

Okkervil River - The Silver Gymnasium
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2013 Ratings: #157 / 958
User Score
Based on 31 ratings
2013 Ratings: #187
September 3, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
ATO / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
PopMatters

The Silver Gymnasium isn’t nostalgic—it’s factual. It’s real. It all happened and can’t again. And that is magical: “We can never go back. We can only remember.”

90
Consequence of Sound

I’m not sure if I’d call it a completely happy album, as there’s still darkness creeping around the edges, and also because it defies simplification. And yet maybe that’s the point. Okkervil River wanted to create something that was accessible. They wanted to create something that had warmth.

83
A.V. Club

Unlike the labored Very Far, this time the songs seem to pour out of Sheff, fueling the band’s jauntiest, peppiest record since 2007’s The Stage Names.

83
Pretty Much Amazing

For the most part, Silver Gymnasium makes for an uplifting and triumphant listen, with a positive energy running through the music and the melodies.

81
Paste

Sheff has succeeded in capturing a specific time and place. It puts you in his world and lets you feel a time when things felt new, with all of the potential and promise that life held before it reared its ugly head. 

81
Beats Per Minute

We already knew that they could write and play grand and anthemic songs, but this album finds them going all-out in swashbuckling revelry for the most part, and it suits them better than anyone might have expected. 

80
AllMusic

Sheff's willingness to strike a balance between his roots rock past and his personal past should please longtime fans and newbies alike, even if they spend the majority of the ride wondering why the tour bus never actually stops at the Silver Gymnasium.

80
Tiny Mix Tapes

As a whole, it splits the difference between an impossible past and a lost future, churning up a rich emotional froth that — like the best of 80s pop itself — seems by turns angry, giddy, and seriously tragic.

80
Under The Radar

While the music often shows a strength and hope, The Silver Gymnasium is largely a heartbreaking record. 

70
Drowned in Sound

On ...Gymnasium, Sheff frontloads the album with some of the catchiest songs he’s ever written.

100
This album is like a god damn campfire. I want to snuggle up against it until I die. I cling onto the values of this album like a fucking urchin and unless I want to be taken seriously I should probably stop it. But if I stop upholding this album as a shiny golden monument of grandiose musical achievement then a little piece of me will die inside. So for now, I'll have to recommend that you listen to this while out camping with your childhood friends and that feeling of nostalgia and just ... read more
tha138
71
New label, old habits. Anthemic, power-pop that invites the sunshine from the main entrance to warm the anxiety.
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MISC LISTS

#76/Paste (Indie Folk)

Track List

  1. It Was My Season
  2. On a Balcony
  3. Down Down the Deep River
  4. Pink-Slips
  5. Lido Pier Suicide Car
  6. Where the Spirit Left Us
  7. White
  8. Stay Young
  9. Walking Without Frankie
  10. All the Time Every Day
  11. Black Nemo
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Added on: June 10, 2013