User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 60 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 60
  2. Negative: 3 out of 60

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  1. RobertD
    Aug 8, 2007
    10
    glad i found another great band this year. new stuff is as great as the old stuff. nice raw energy. totally original.
  2. BigB
    Aug 9, 2007
    10
    Perfect album!
  3. DavidH
    Aug 9, 2007
    10
    What makes this so amazing is how different it is than the prior OR releases. BSB was dark and dense. Golden Dreams was wistful and sad. This one is rollicking and triumphant. Reminds me a little bit of the hysterical pleading of Funeral. It tops Boxer and Neon Bible as the best album of the year thus far.
  4. brianj
    Oct 3, 2007
    10
    perhaps the album of the year. majestic, powerful....it has it all!
  5. ToddW
    Aug 10, 2007
    9
    If Okkervil River is a real place, I want to spend the rest of my life sunning myself on its banks and swimming in its refreshing waters. The Stage Names does what most albums fail miserably to do: It tops what was thought to be untoppable, while at the same time sounding old yet new and fresh. Will Sheff borrows from Forever Changes, Pet Sounds, and In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, as well If Okkervil River is a real place, I want to spend the rest of my life sunning myself on its banks and swimming in its refreshing waters. The Stage Names does what most albums fail miserably to do: It tops what was thought to be untoppable, while at the same time sounding old yet new and fresh. Will Sheff borrows from Forever Changes, Pet Sounds, and In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, as well as some of the kitschiest bad 80's rock, with equal aplomb. In retrospect, Black Sheep Boy was the appetizer, for The Stage Names is no doubt a main course. And like a great Italian meal, may there be many more this tasty to come. Sheff has given us another candidate for 2007 Album of the Year. Expand
  6. TylerM
    Aug 11, 2007
    10
    Slightly underrated, one of the top albums of the year in my opinion!
  7. pix101
    Aug 19, 2007
    9
    Great album! If you liked Black Sheep Boy you will like this, but it might take a few listens to get into...
  8. SpencerL.
    Aug 26, 2007
    10
    Easily one of the best albums of the year. Not long enough? Put it on repeat - it doesn't fail under repeated listening.
  9. johnw.
    Aug 28, 2007
    10
    FUCKING BRILLIANT
  10. [Anonymous]
    Aug 8, 2007
    9
    This is an amazing album. "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe" and "Unless it Kicks" are energetic rockers that start the album right. "Savannah Smiles" is a beautiful and poignantly sad tune. The closing track "John Allyn Smith Sails" is a fitting tribute to John Berryman (similar to The Hold Steady's "Stuck Between Stations") with a power full sampling of The Beach Boys' "Sloop This is an amazing album. "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe" and "Unless it Kicks" are energetic rockers that start the album right. "Savannah Smiles" is a beautiful and poignantly sad tune. The closing track "John Allyn Smith Sails" is a fitting tribute to John Berryman (similar to The Hold Steady's "Stuck Between Stations") with a power full sampling of The Beach Boys' "Sloop John B." One of the best of 2007. Expand
  11. PatD
    Aug 9, 2007
    10
    Okkervil River comes back with another amazing album. This is one of those albums that you really have to let grow on you before you can really appreciate it. On par with 'Don't Fall in Love with Everyone You See."
  12. EliotA.
    Aug 9, 2007
    9
    This is my rating after listening to the first 4 or 5 songs twice, and the 1st and 2nd song like 12 times. This is because my rides in the car (where I do the most listening) have been short, and the first two songs are awesome. this is by no means degrading the rest of the album, because I havent even listened to the whole thing yet, but at the same time I dont need to because I know its This is my rating after listening to the first 4 or 5 songs twice, and the 1st and 2nd song like 12 times. This is because my rides in the car (where I do the most listening) have been short, and the first two songs are awesome. this is by no means degrading the rest of the album, because I havent even listened to the whole thing yet, but at the same time I dont need to because I know its going to be good. I'm a big fan of Okkervil after i fell in love with Black Sheep Boy, their previous album, which i highly recommend listening to before or after this album. I'm sure, after I know this whole album I will believe that it deserves 9 out of 10, but I saw that there were no posts user reviews, and personally I look at user reviews more than critics anyways :) . Check them out for sure, either this or Black Sheep Boy. ta ta Expand
  13. ElizabethP
    Oct 11, 2007
    9
    "Black Sheep Boy" is a tough act to follow, so "The Stage Names" is a good album but it can't compare to "BSB." This album has a lighter tone, in that, the mood isn't as dark or morose as "BSB," but it's still a nice change of pace.
  14. MattW.
    Nov 6, 2007
    9
    Great album. Lyrically appealing as well, which is pretty rare for today's music.
  15. GuyH.
    Dec 6, 2007
    7
    I have been listening to this album on and off for three weeks and at first I was convinced this was brilliant. Unfortunately the impact has really dulled now and I rarely listen to tracks 7 or 8 anymore. If you aren't in the right mood the yelping vocals will find you reaching for the volume control (or in extreme cases the off button!). Plus Ones is the one song I always feel like I have been listening to this album on and off for three weeks and at first I was convinced this was brilliant. Unfortunately the impact has really dulled now and I rarely listen to tracks 7 or 8 anymore. If you aren't in the right mood the yelping vocals will find you reaching for the volume control (or in extreme cases the off button!). Plus Ones is the one song I always feel like listening to and is definitely the highlight. Overall good but not great. Expand
  16. NicholasW
    Oct 8, 2007
    10
    Wow!!! Near Perfect-
  17. JasonA
    Aug 10, 2007
    8
    First let me start off by saying that I love Okkervil River and I love this cd. I just discovered the band about 8 months ago when I randomly saw someone saw how excellent their last album
  18. Rory
    Aug 10, 2007
    10
    Mind-blowing in a very different way than Black Sheep Boy. I haven't heard an album better this year.
  19. jaydub
    Aug 10, 2007
    5
    Bland. Soooo bland, and so MOR, and so mid-tempo, and so amused with its own lyrical conceit, and so not emotionally convincing. Basically, the polar opposite of Black Sheep Boy. Also, waaaaay too much on the maracas. Plus, the formulaic song-writing. Boring arrangements as well. Pretty awful use of a string section. I could go on, but...
  20. [anonymous]
    Aug 14, 2007
    9
    A nine because it could have been longer, in my opinion, without hurting the album.
  21. gramp
    Aug 15, 2007
    10
    This is the most complete and listenable ablum so far this year. Great stuff.
  22. ChadS.
    Aug 21, 2007
    9
    Will Sheff should lose the ungainly moniker and call his musical outfit The Will Scheff Band. Has there ever been a worse band name than Okkervil River? "The Stage Names" is too strong of an album to overlook, and unfortunately, it will. Wilco rolls off the tongue. Okkervil River ties it up. Actually, on the opening cut, the artist Sheff most resembles(vocally) is Jonathan Richman. The Will Sheff should lose the ungainly moniker and call his musical outfit The Will Scheff Band. Has there ever been a worse band name than Okkervil River? "The Stage Names" is too strong of an album to overlook, and unfortunately, it will. Wilco rolls off the tongue. Okkervil River ties it up. Actually, on the opening cut, the artist Sheff most resembles(vocally) is Jonathan Richman. The best track, however, is "Plus Ones". In spirit, "The Stage Names" has the same infusion of romanticism and glad-to-be-aliveness as Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run". Expand
  23. QuinnCr
    Oct 3, 2008
    10
    This is easily my favorite okkervil river album. There isn't a single song I dislike, so it is a wonderful work of art.
  24. ConnorG.
    Jun 18, 2009
    10
    Incredible album, listen to the depth and you will be surprised. Look for the stories, the meanings and you will find that this is easily the best album out of 200...No contest, hands down.
  25. EV.
    Nov 11, 2007
    6
    I don't know whats with all the hype. Black Sheep Boy was awesome but this record is gay as fuk.
  26. DavidH.
    Nov 8, 2007
    10
    Without a doubt one of the best albums of 2007. Even repeated listening won't get you bored of it; you'll grow to love each and every song even more.
  27. TimC.
    Dec 11, 2007
    10
    Loved it!
  28. cM.
    Oct 31, 2007
    10
    It is the best of Will and the boys records yet.
  29. Tom
    Aug 18, 2007
    10
    Dang, these boys are good. Not as angry as BSB, but no less grabbing.
  30. BrandtB
    Aug 27, 2007
    9
    This album should be in every indie-lover's Top Five of 2007 list. "Plus Ones", "John Allyn Smith Sails", and "A Girl in Port" are among the best songs that I've heard thus far this year. Will Sheff joins Sam Beam in songwriting capabilities with this album. Let's see if Iron & Wine's latest album can compete with "The Stage Names." I have a feeling it can.
  31. HaroldB.
    Sep 12, 2007
    10
    Will Sheff proves yet again he is among the best lyricists in music today. The Stage Names is easily among the best albums of 2007.
  32. Drew
    Sep 24, 2007
    8
    This is probably their third best album, which is meant more as compliment to the band than an affront. This is easily in my top 5 albums of the year...
  33. SaintGod
    Jun 21, 2009
    10
    Better and more coherent than Black Sheep Boy, which basically means a perfect record. Can't wait to see what follows stage names and stand in's... Okkervil River: Stewardess. Will could make something incredible out of it, no doubt. I said it first. Honestly this record is perfect. Not just one of the best records of 2007 but taken with the Stand Ins after, stands among the Better and more coherent than Black Sheep Boy, which basically means a perfect record. Can't wait to see what follows stage names and stand in's... Okkervil River: Stewardess. Will could make something incredible out of it, no doubt. I said it first. Honestly this record is perfect. Not just one of the best records of 2007 but taken with the Stand Ins after, stands among the best double albums, or taken alone, best albums, since contemporary music began. Seriously, the 60's where just a start people, get over it. Expand
  34. Mar 31, 2012
    8
    I thoroughly enjoyed this whole album. From start to finish, it's a melodic, rhythmic triumph that gets better with each listen. All In All, Okkervil River never tend to fail.
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. The urgency is still there, as guitars and pianos take turns screaming during the breakdown, but the violence is replaced with a sense of frivolity and playfulness that lingers throughout the group's fifth release.
  2. The cerebral lyrics take center stage, as it were, while the band rocks out much harder than it did on 2005's melancholy "Black Sheep Boy."
  3. The Stage Names is much more of a balls-out rock album than most of Okkervil River's oeuvre, and also more orchestral and layered, with arrangements that include everything from non-sissy glockenspiel to metronome percussion. The complexity is the perfect counterpart to Sheff's dense writing.