[Ed. Note: This was an experiment. I wanted to Live Tweet my first listen to an album, as I think an initial listen tends to be the most perceptive and is the one that really reflects one’s true views towards the music. So here goes nothing. Please comment to let me know if this was enjoyed.]
Going to be live tweeting my first listen to the new Rory Erikson w/Okkervil River album, True Love Cast Out All Evil.
Excuse me, it’s Roky Erikson w/Okkervil River. My apologies for the misspell. And the live tweet starts….NOW!
1. Devotional Number One – Album opens with a staticy soft ballad, which quickly ascends into a full sound with an organ in the background.
It’s actually a beautiful way to open an album. Now the entire band has joined in, and Roky’s staticified voice and music has faded.
2. Ain’t Blues Too Sad – Roky’s voice is amazingly country. Not new alt-country. Old school real bluesy country.
3. Goodbye Sweet Dreams – Okkervil seems to be getting a bit darker musically. Could be Roky’s influence; either way, I like it.
There’s something very Neil Young about this song.
4. Be And Bring Me Home – We’re four songs into the album, and I’m liking it, but I really miss Will Sheff’s voice. Why won’t he sing?
Whatever, I’m really enjoying this album. Musically it’s quite good. Sounds more like Okkervil’s live show than their prev albums have.
5. Bring Back The Past – This one’s a bit more alt-country. But not in a bad way.
6. Please, Judge – A slow ballad that brings back the cacophonous distortion and background noise from track one. Wonder what it means.
The song, seems to be about a father pleading for the acquittal of his son.
7. John Lawman – The judge’s answer to the father’s plea. Roky Erikson seems to have a pretty bitter view of the system of justice.
This one is also a Neil Young recall. The good kind of Neil Young.
Maybe they’ll even go straight into Rockin’ In The Free World when they play this live. It would segue perfectly.
So the stage is set. Kids, even those who break the law are good. John Lawman is evil (“I kill people all day long.”)
I wonder what will cast out the evil.
8. True Love Cast Out All Evil – This one’s a bit cheesy. But hey, Roky’s an aging hippie. What should we expect?
9. Forever – Hmmmm. This album is less Okkervil River than I’m craving right now. Kinda annoying. When will Will sing?
10. Think Of As One – Good. Not great.
It really sounds like he’s saying “think of as art,” or “think of as arms,” as opposed to “think of as one.” Roky needs to annunciate better
11. Birds’d Crash – The combo of Roky’s country stylings and Okkervil’s indie rockness is somehow a perfect fit. Weird.
Plus, I love turning “birds that” into “birds’d.” I’m going to petition the Oxford English Dictionary to add that as a word.
12. God Is Everywhere – Now we’re back to the staticy recording.
What does it mean? Life comes full circle? All music is connected? Or maybe they just ran out of tape.
Beautiful violins closing it out… and we’re done.
Overall, a very pretty album. Nothing revolutionary, and not nearly enough (read: none) of Shiff, in my opinion. Still, was enjoyable.