Black Sheep Boy

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 92 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 92
  2. Negative: 5 out of 92

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  1. RobT
    Jul 5, 2009
    10
    Black Sheep Boy is a masterpiece on level with NMH's Aeroplane Over the Sea.
  2. Jun 6, 2011
    7
    Solid effort, nothing that'll blow your mind but it's worth the money.
  3. ZachG
    Oct 21, 2005
    10
    This album is one that just gets better and better after every listen. It has slowly risen to contend as my #1 album of the year so far. It doesn't get much better than "The Latest Toughs" and "For Real". A must-have for sure.
  4. MarkO.
    Jun 22, 2005
    10
    Album of the year - period. Plus they have an incredible live show.
  5. GusQ
    Jul 14, 2005
    10
    Beautiful. Simply beautiful. I agree, album of the year so far without a question.
  6. MC
    Jul 1, 2005
    10
    A subdued, more literate and less obscure "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea." It's in the same league as the Neutral Milk Classic, although "Aeroplane" takes it by a bit. It's that good
  7. ChaseH
    Jul 6, 2006
    10
    An epic and incredible journey through the life of a lamb. Scheff's voice is wonderous and sometimes painful to listen to coupled with the dark lyrics. Everything fits perfectly and there isn't a bad track on the record.
  8. JasperB
    Nov 13, 2005
    8
    Definetly above average
  9. LK
    Jun 24, 2005
    10
    Incredible album.
  10. Ben
    Jun 29, 2005
    10
    My God, I'm NOT an American and I've given this a 10. Why? Because it deserves it for being absolutely outstanding.
  11. TravisB
    Jun 30, 2005
    9
    The vocals have John Nolan of Straylight Run written all over them and the music stirs up feelings of Bright Eyes. Will Sheff's strained vocals allow the listener to feel the raw emotion pouring out of each track. Conceptually wonderful.
  12. DaveS
    Jul 4, 2005
    10
    Album of the year... hands down.
  13. TedP
    Aug 30, 2005
    10
    The best release since the DBT's Dirty South- just a gripping album, all theway through. Visionary, expansive, narrative- music to be listened too, no heard.
  14. aaron
    Jan 12, 2006
    10
    a powerfully sincere and absorbing record. this has got to be their masterpiece.
  15. JimC
    Mar 11, 2006
    10
    A heart-wrenching story told through the raw, quavering vocals of Will Sheff. Beautiful and haunting. This album gets better with each listen.
  16. Paul
    May 24, 2006
    10
    Amazing.
  17. ChadS
    May 9, 2006
    9
    "For Real" is stunning. Structurally, it reminds me of U2's "With or Without You". It might be a tribute to the Manic Street Preacher's frontman. "Black" is a winner, too. The slow songs work equally well; understated, but melodic enough not to depress even though the subject matter is about being sad. Will Sheff seems like the real deal. (To the girl who uses this site as a "For Real" is stunning. Structurally, it reminds me of U2's "With or Without You". It might be a tribute to the Manic Street Preacher's frontman. "Black" is a winner, too. The slow songs work equally well; understated, but melodic enough not to depress even though the subject matter is about being sad. Will Sheff seems like the real deal. (To the girl who uses this site as a consumer guide: At least you didn't get stuck with Animal Collective's "Sung Tongs" and Chad VanGaalen's "Infiniheart".) Expand
  18. anthonyw
    Jul 10, 2006
    10
    Fantastic album, easily in the top 5 albums of 05. An epic story of the Black Sheep Boy weaved into a storytellers album. Easily their best work.
  19. DanH
    Aug 6, 2007
    10
    Indie albums don't age well, you'd think. But two years on, I'm all the more certain that this is the best thing I've heard since the turn of the century. Literate people will adore it; teenagers will identify strongly with it; indie rock fans will be blown away; neurotics will get totally obsessed with it. Even total morons won't be able to help loving a huge Indie albums don't age well, you'd think. But two years on, I'm all the more certain that this is the best thing I've heard since the turn of the century. Literate people will adore it; teenagers will identify strongly with it; indie rock fans will be blown away; neurotics will get totally obsessed with it. Even total morons won't be able to help loving a huge joyous tune like 'All the Latest Toughs'. One to break your heart and sharpen your perceptions. Expand
  20. KristannaV
    Nov 15, 2005
    10
    For once, Metacritic got things right. I bought several of the top 30 albums of 2005 like Spoon, Andrew Bird, and Antony and the Johnsons but how disappointing they all were! This is my new favorite band! The lyrics aren't shallow, dumb, or droning but are so PROFOUND. Will Sheff pours so much into his singing which is perfectly imperfect and the music fits the lyrics. This album For once, Metacritic got things right. I bought several of the top 30 albums of 2005 like Spoon, Andrew Bird, and Antony and the Johnsons but how disappointing they all were! This is my new favorite band! The lyrics aren't shallow, dumb, or droning but are so PROFOUND. Will Sheff pours so much into his singing which is perfectly imperfect and the music fits the lyrics. This album deserves a much higher rating than it got! Expand
  21. MattS
    Nov 3, 2005
    10
    This album simply gets better every listen. The imagery and emotion in Sheff's lyrics are incredible, easily the best album of 2005. I'll let you know how the live show goes :)
  22. JohnnyW
    Dec 8, 2005
    10
    Common This was By FAR this years best album!!!! Be sure to check out the B-side release.
  23. DanO
    Jun 21, 2005
    10
    Album of the year thus far, glad this finally got put on here.
  24. PaulN
    Jun 22, 2005
    9
    Great album!!! I especially like the performance of the guitar of For Real and the vocal's hoarse voice.
  25. JaseL
    Jun 27, 2005
    8
    Stumbled across this.... Have to order it in (Melbourne Australia) because no one has it. But, it is a very good listen..
  26. MichaelK
    Jun 28, 2005
    9
    album of the year by far. no one in ages has sounded so clever and inspired on the subject of love.
  27. NickD
    Jun 28, 2005
    9
    Great album, beautiful lyrics - definitely deserved all the praise it received.
  28. TimH
    Jun 29, 2005
    10
    The outpouring of emotion combined with beautiful melodies and perfect musical backing is just unmatchable here. A wonderful story with a wonderful storyteller.
  29. SeyHaS
    Aug 17, 2005
    9
    Black Sheep Boy is an album aversely dreamy and poignant in concept. The music evokes a quietness to it, but yet it harbors some of the most powerful and ghostly lyrics sung with an emotive and sincere ness that is intrusively beautiful to hear. The last song
  30. EricA
    Sep 11, 2005
    10
    I simply cannot get over how good this album is... And yet no one I know (even the indie kids) have heard of it. This album easily beats out Sufjan Stevens for album of the year. In a couple of years this will be a classic, and I'll have been there from the start. "Get Big" is one of the most gripping, sad songs I have ever heard.
  31. ChristianM
    Sep 13, 2005
    10
    Propably the best album of 2005. Yes, I'm pretty sure. The only ones coming close are Marissa Nadler, The Mountain Goats, Sigur Rós and Caribou. Still this stands as the strongest. Wow.
  32. ivebeenlisteningtookkervillongerthanyou
    Sep 20, 2005
    10
    this is their most musicaly and emotionly polished album yet
  33. PatD
    Oct 27, 2006
    10
    Simply the gingle greatest album I have heard in 2005 or 6. Amazing Lyrics.
  34. ScottW
    May 11, 2006
    10
    This will be your new favorite band! The lyrics are soul-baring, the music is sweeping, and Sheff's earnest vocals will blow you away. You have to buy this!
  35. boomshanka
    May 10, 2006
    8
    melancholic lo-fi wonder - unpolished and raw - this album is so real, focused more on music then production values - i love this album
  36. Ryan
    May 27, 2006
    10
    Best album of 2005.
  37. MikeM
    Oct 14, 2007
    10
    Simply phenomenal. Okkervil River's crowing achievement, and a pure joy to listen to from start to finish. I cannot recommend this album enough.
  38. AlessandroP
    Dec 7, 2007
    10
    Simply awesome.
  39. NicholasW
    Oct 8, 2007
    10
    It might be weird but this guy remindes me of Bob Dylan..but perhaps maybe the thing they have most in common is "greatness"- okay- a little below dylan but still really awesome!!!
  40. ErikH
    Apr 25, 2007
    10
    You shouldn't be reading these comments. You should be going to buy this album. Now.
  41. TiagoF
    Aug 13, 2007
    10
    Perfect album. Third best album of the 00s. It's sad how underrated it is by critics.
  42. JamesS
    Aug 8, 2007
    10
    Beautiful, Powerful, Emotional, Diverse. This album is a musical masterpiece. It's like watching a dream unfold in your mind that highlights all of your weakness and fears as well as all of your strengths. Everytime, at the end, you wake up knowing youself better.
  43. ColB
    May 21, 2008
    10
    One of the greatest albums of all-time.
  44. CaseyM
    Jun 26, 2008
    10
    The entire album and appendix is emotional, beautiful, and perfect. Some critique Sheff's vocals, but I think it adds to the rawness of the emotion he puts into the songs. Simply great!
  45. Art
    Oct 14, 2005
    10
    Yearning without whining, deep without confusion, heartfelt without over the top emotional conjecture; this album easily one of the best of year.
  46. AStone
    Nov 8, 2005
    10
    Completely completely amazing.
  47. matta
    Jun 21, 2005
    9
    Such a good cd. I saw them live with the Decemberists a few months ago and they were amazing. A must own for fans of smart, multi-layered indie rock.
  48. Hankm
    Jun 22, 2005
    10
    i will never get tired of this record. im so thrilled that it's on the site! it's one of my favorite albums of all time and okkervil river is going all the way!
  49. DietVanillaMackS
    Jun 27, 2005
    10
    The most gripping indie record since Neutral MIlk's "Aeroplane." Absolutely heart-wrenchingly horrible-beautiful.
  50. MichaelM
    Aug 17, 2005
    10
    Brilliant, just $#%^*!# brilliant.
  51. DavidM
    Aug 19, 2005
    9
    While I still feel SKs THE WOODS is the musical highlight of the year, this is the emotional high point. Uptempo numbers, especially FOR REAL and BLACK, two of the very best songs of the year, grab you by the throat from listen one, other numbers take much longer to process, but I've listened to this thing 12 maybe 15 times front to back now, and it's still sounding better every While I still feel SKs THE WOODS is the musical highlight of the year, this is the emotional high point. Uptempo numbers, especially FOR REAL and BLACK, two of the very best songs of the year, grab you by the throat from listen one, other numbers take much longer to process, but I've listened to this thing 12 maybe 15 times front to back now, and it's still sounding better every time. Great Headphone Album, lots of texture that gets missed in a normal stereo listen. Expand
  52. JH
    Jan 24, 2006
    10
    A great, great album with depth and passion. The songs stand alone and together are truly ethereal. Okkervil River's Best!
  53. Jonas
    May 22, 2006
    10
    It's too bad that great bands like Okkervil River live in obscurity while there's so much crap being played on mainstream radio. I loved every song!
  54. Paul
    Nov 5, 2008
    10
    Amazing.
  55. TomP
    Nov 17, 2008
    8
    Black is most likely the best song of 2005. Amazing. The rest is good too.
  56. Sep 1, 2014
    10
    Quite possibly the most underrated album of all time. This is indie folk at its finest. I've listened to this album hundreds of times but, unlike other albums, I seem to never get tired of it.
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. It's hard not to stare in open-mouthed amazement at the sheer brilliance of Black Sheep Boy, though you're trying to clinically dissect all the elements that make it so.
  2. Alternative Press
    100
    [Sheff's] uncompromisingly literate songs provide unusually rewarding payoffs. [May 2005, p.124]
  3. Magnet
    80
    What strike most are Sheff's strained, impassioned vocals and the joyful variety of instrumentation. [#67, p.110]