You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Album Review | INDIE ROCK

Okkervil River, ‘The Silver Gymnasium’

Some people will call this album a masterpiece, while others will call it a fatuous mess. There is evidence of both. If you like story songs a la Ray Davies, Randy Newman, and Ryan Adams, you’ll enjoy some of singer Will Sheff’s tales of growing up in tiny Meriden, N.H., which had fewer than 500 residents when he was there in the ’80s. Ultimately, though, the album is weighed down by verbose lyrics and excess ambition. Sheff tries too hard: Witness the too-clever “Lido Pier Suicide Car” with its line about “the hassler of gassed-up graspers trying to make their grands.” The album starts promisingly with “It Was My Season” and its happily bouncy piano riffs, and another strong song, “Down the Deep River,” has cinematic synth melodies reminiscent of Roy Bittan of the E Street Band. But the long, drawn-out soundscapes and needless overproduction induce fatigue on later tracks. Okkervil River was superb when backing Roky Erickson a few years ago, but they succumbed to self-indulgence here. (Out Tuesday)

Essential “Down the Deep River”

Okkervil River plays the Boston Calling Festival on City Hall Plaza Sept. 7.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.