Music Review of the Stand Ins by Okkervil River

The Stand Ins is such a matured album that even Adult and Elderly People will fall in love with it. It’s definitely a perfect album for my parents’ wedding anniversary. It has 3 tracks which are pure instrumentals.

“Stand Ins, One” is just 48 seconds long and is the intro to The Stand Ins. It started off slowly and gradually picked up and got louder. Accordian can be heard throughout this song and at times, it sounded creepy to me. Nonetheless, this track will get you ready and build up the tempo and excitement in you for the next track. 🙂

What I love about “Lost Coastlines” apart from the awesome lyrics is its music. 😉 Patrick Pestorius’ playing of bass gets my head nodding each time I listen to this track. Not only that, the mandolin and trumpet also created an atmosphere as if i’m watching a big group of orchestra performance. As Will sings, “But we find the maps he sent to us don’t mention lost coastlines…”. He knows that they are lost on the shoreline.. And when it comes to the end, it will not be long when you finally find yourself singing along with Okkervil River.. “La, la, la…”

The beginning of “Singer Songwriter” resembles “Ain’t No Easy Way” by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club”, and it tells the story about a girl who has everything that she could ever ask for.. But due to this very same fact, she failed in everything she chose to do.. And nothing’s gonna change her world.. It’s also one of the loudest track on The Stand Ins where various guitar playings can be heard throughout this track. Beautiful country rock song where you can imagine a group of elderly people enjoying and dancing to this power-pop country rock track. Love it!

“Starry Stairs” should have been the last track on this album. It just has the quality to end an album. 🙂 Will sings as if he is sad.. “If you don’t love me, i’m sorry”. It’s the most memorable moment on this track. As he goes on, he sings about how a girl that he loves, lied to him. He has no choice but to say goodbye.. All the Starry Stairs seem to be falling apart as he climbs.. Definitely a track to look out for on The Stand-Ins! Play this song if you found out that your girlfriend is lying to you or hiding something from you! 🙂 Make her know that you’re saying goodbye..

Clocking in at over 6 minutes long is “Blue Tulip”. The longest song on this album. Blue Tulip, again sings about a girl who lies.. “Hats off to my distant hope, a little lie, a puff of smoke…”, sings Will, and as he sings, I feel the pain he’s in. I feel sorry for him. Such a sad song that it’s impossible to ignore this powerful ballad which sings the way to your heart. And it’s one of the reasons Okkervil River is famous for!

“Stand Ins, Two” is another instrumental. A slow guitar plucking and piano playing. As if Okkervil River is taking a brief break from this album. 🙂

As its title suggests, “Pop Lie” is about lies. A story about a man who lies in his pop songs. Thus, Pop Lie. 🙂 Damn, Okkervil River is good at it! They write songs that’s so complicated until I have to listen countlessly to Pop Lie before I could figure out the real meaning behind this song. A man who has so many fans, from kids to adults, lies whenever he sings. Is this the real world out there? You be the judge. Anyway, it’s a guitar-power-packed song that is so radio friendly! Cheers to Okkervil River!

“On Tour with Zykos” is specially written for Okkervil River’s past member, Jonathan Meiburg. Will wishes him all the best on his future undertaking… “Roll your crew on down the road, to the next sold out show… ” I really love the piano playing of this song. I can feel the friendship shared between Okkervil River and Jonathan. And it reminds me of the friendship shared between Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon. Incredible farewell song to Jonathan!

“Calling and Not Calling My Ex” is a very radio-friendly track. At first listen, I already knew I would like this song. The beat and tempo of this song is just perfect that it’ll make you go on remembering this song, especially the beginning of this song. “God knows i’m feeling really stupid now, forever having said goodbye…” is the phrase that I always recall whenever I listen to this song. And another praise for the piano of this song. I just find it very appealing and infectious.. 😉

“Stand Ins, Three”, another instrumental. Violin can be heard throughout this track until it subsides where it jump to another track… More or less, it’s the prelude to the next song…

“Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 19793 is the track that closes The Stand Ins. Before ending The Stand Ins, Okkervil River managed to close this album on thematic and anthemic note. This song is a slow ballad that Will sings, “Pull down the shades, let’s kill the morning…”, as if he’s disappointed and despair in love. But like most closing song, it ended on a high note, high spirit, trumpet, guitar and drums all came in together to make this a memorable one. Okkervil River have done it again! 🙂

Rating: I’m speechless… I’m totally impressed with the lyrics written by Okkervil River. The have this ability to write songs with lyrics that are so cryptic that we have to think through the words in order to understand the real meaning behind those lyrics. Not only that, their music landscape and genre is so focused that they are becoming the pioneer in what they are doing. Beautiful and heart-felt songs all in The Stand Ins, I honestly give it 7.5 out of 10. Cheers!

Stand-Out Tracks (My Picks): Lost Coastlines, Singer Songwriter, Starry Stairs, Calling and Not Calling My Ex, On Tour with Zykos.

Source by Darren Tan

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