The Stage Names

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 62 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 62
  2. Negative: 3 out of 62

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  1. jaydub
    Aug 10, 2007
    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...
  2. EV.
    Nov 11, 2007
    I don't know whats with all the hype. Black Sheep Boy was awesome but this record is gay as fuk.

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.