Okemah And The Melody Of Riot

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Jul 12, 2005
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27

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  1. JeffT
    Jan 2, 2006
    10
    "Rock and roll around my head alive a kicking" Jay Farrar writes phrases and lyrics that are both simple and layered with complex meaning. Listen to this album three times and you'll be hooked.
  2. RobertS
    Dec 9, 2005
    10
    Great album! Easily Jay's best since Trace. What blows me away as much as this release is that it can be given a negative review!? Rock critics never cease to amaze. Some can give this a bad review and then rave about a collection of bleeps and whistles with lyrics that make absolutely no sense (can you say - Emporer's New Clothes). Omekah is no fraud, its a damn great rock Great album! Easily Jay's best since Trace. What blows me away as much as this release is that it can be given a negative review!? Rock critics never cease to amaze. Some can give this a bad review and then rave about a collection of bleeps and whistles with lyrics that make absolutely no sense (can you say - Emporer's New Clothes). Omekah is no fraud, its a damn great rock album! Boo Blender, boo MOJO! Collapse
  3. JorinR
    Nov 26, 2005
    8
    This is the best REM album since Reckoning!
  4. LesH
    Oct 10, 2005
    8
    Farrar seems now driven to reintroduce himself to the rock world with a multi-media package of brooding songs backed with muscular guitars. The first four songs highlight this urgent return, however the remaining set besides "Who" and "6 String Belief" (less impressive here than the solo live version from 'Bright Lights') become a bit formulatic (comparable to the "Wide Swing Farrar seems now driven to reintroduce himself to the rock world with a multi-media package of brooding songs backed with muscular guitars. The first four songs highlight this urgent return, however the remaining set besides "Who" and "6 String Belief" (less impressive here than the solo live version from 'Bright Lights') become a bit formulatic (comparable to the "Wide Swing Tremelo" rock songs). Still not enough of the blended acoustic heartache of 'Trace' to warrant huge praise. What boosts this disc's appeal is the anxious wait to finally see Farrar tour again under the Son Volt brand (sort of like Young & Crazy Horse) and powerfully deliver the goods. (Based on past experience, I bet the tour will be a 10.) Expand
  5. jbolton
    Sep 27, 2005
    10
    Jay Farrar is the new Bob Dylan in thought and presentation. Chris Frame is a powerful addition to a truly rocking band. I'm new to Son Volt but count me among the legion of fans.
  6. TNelson
    Sep 14, 2005
    10
    Solid. The best record I've heard in years. I'd like to give it an 11!!
  7. rhondaM
    Aug 8, 2005
    7
    I think the lead guitarist and drummer is what makes the band. I Beleive his name is Chris frame. Your awesome Chris Frame.
  8. SteveH
    Aug 5, 2005
    8
    Though hardly perfect, there is a place for Okemah in this time and place. Farrar is at his cohesive, ascerbic best - wrapping pointed, poison words in a semi-sweet shell. For the uninitiated, a little digestion may be necessary. Nice to be re-introduced to the familar Sun Volt tones without a hint of staleness.
  9. ThomasS
    Jul 26, 2005
    10
    I am embarrassed for Eric Weisbard after reading his review of Okemah in Blender. Okemah and the Melody of Riot is the album of the year so far. While the album has political overtones, it's much more subtle and, like all great works of art, much more complicated than Weisbard's simpleton interpretation of it.
  10. JohnH
    Jul 20, 2005
    9
    For those who don't like it-I suggest they listen to it again. This is the best album released so far this year. Farrar is back in fine form and the new supporting players sound incredible. Great music and great lyrics=a great album. Welcome back Jay.
  11. Jeremy
    Jul 18, 2005
    4
    Feels so damn forced, a commercial motivated record move instead of an artisitc one. Why does he write this eulogy to the vinyl record then deliver this multimedia extravaganza DVD/CD with the jarring repetetive reprise of a half baked song? For me this officially assigns Jay Farrar to the washed up list.
  12. JasonR
    Jul 16, 2005
    9
    This is one of the best albums of the year. It lacks the standout tracks of earlier Son Volt records but it might be the most solid collection of songs that Farrar has put together to date.
  13. ArminH
    Jul 16, 2005
    10
    This magnificent album proves that Son Volt IS Jay Farrar, no offense to the fantastic musicianship provided by the reincarnated group. Farrar's creative growth is subtle but nonetheless very evident here. He doesn't shy away from clear messages (Jet Pilot), and here clearly integrates some of his solo experimentation into a band context (Medication and World Waits for You.) The This magnificent album proves that Son Volt IS Jay Farrar, no offense to the fantastic musicianship provided by the reincarnated group. Farrar's creative growth is subtle but nonetheless very evident here. He doesn't shy away from clear messages (Jet Pilot), and here clearly integrates some of his solo experimentation into a band context (Medication and World Waits for You.) The jury is out, but I dare say that Okemah will even surpass Trace as my favorite Son Volt album! Expand
  14. RL
    Jul 16, 2005
    9
    A solid return to form...rocks like no other stuff Farrar has done!!
  15. Nicholas
    Jul 14, 2005
    10
    This album puts Son Volt back on the map. Jay Farrar is back! This is the best work since Son Volt's 1995 masterpiece Trace...
  16. casserollmeover
    Jul 14, 2005
    10
    A welcome return with a necessary record for these times. Upon repeated listenings all the nuances of Farrar's vocals (and the band(!)) (Wow). Absolutely worth the wait. Brings back the memory of so many fearless songwriters and bands that came before.
  17. ChipW
    Jul 13, 2005
    9
    Back to the old school Son Volt wall of sound basics. Finally.
  18. DJAdequate
    Jul 13, 2005
    9
    Farrar goes back to playing to his strengths. Often sounds like a mildly-countrified version of early REM. This is the best backing band he's had in a long time, and the dual guitar work is great.
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Despite taking few chances thematically or musically, the reincarnated Son Volt delivers a tight, nothing-wasted set.
  2. It's a bracing and welcome return to form for an important artist.
  3. Farrar's perfectly ramshackle voice still delivers his oblique lyrics, but now it's backed by a tighter, revamped lineup. [15 Jul 2005, p.71]