Okemah And The Melody Of Riot Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

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  • Summary: Jay Farrar has revived his post-Uncle Tupelo outfit Son Volt for their first album in seven years.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. It's a bracing and welcome return to form for an important artist.
  2. Even when his overintellectualized lyrics smear into a palette of industrial gray, the guitars provide a strong human heartbeat.
  3. When not so buried in dank sonics, Farrar's familiar songwriting drawl feels more crisp and lively; being able to hear the record's engaging pop hooks is a revelation. On the other hand, this newfound production clarity reveals that Farrar might be running out of ideas.
  4. If the sound that the original Son Volt line-up cultivated began to feel oppressing for Farrar, it’s clear on Okemah And The Melody of Riot that a return in part to that sound has been good for his musical soul.
  5. 60
    By focusing on the temporal, he reduces himself to simple protest music rather than timeless folk. [Aug 2005, p.104]
  6. 40
    He's never tried so actively to fuse prescriptive politics into [the] mix, and the move feels suspect. [Aug 2005, p.115]

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. JeffT
    Jan 2, 2006
    "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. Expand
  2. ThomasS
    Jul 26, 2005
    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. Expand
  3. jbolton
    Sep 27, 2005
    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. Expand
  4. ChipW
    Jul 13, 2005
    Back to the old school Son Volt wall of sound basics. Finally.
  5. JasonR
    Jul 16, 2005
    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. Expand
  6. JorinR
    Nov 26, 2005
    This is the best REM album since Reckoning!
  7. Jeremy
    Jul 18, 2005
    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. Collapse

See all 18 User Reviews