Black Sheep Boy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Black Sheep Boy
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 5, 2005
StudioBrian Beattie's Wonder Chamber, Austin, Texas
GenreIndie rock, folk rock
ProducerOkkervil River
Okkervil River chronology
Sleep and Wake-Up Songs
Black Sheep Boy
Black Sheep Boy Appendix

Black Sheep Boy is the third studio album by American indie rock band Okkervil River, released on April 5, 2005. The title is inspired by the song "Black Sheep Boy" by 1960s folk singer Tim Hardin. The album deals with Hardin's struggle with heroin addiction and Okkervil River lead singer Will Sheff's failed relationships and heartbreaks. The album cover features the work of Providence artist William Schaff.


Most of the songs for the record were written in February 2004 in Bloomington, Indiana by Will Sheff. Sheff describes the album's theme in a 2005 interview:

"The Black Sheep Boy is a fantastical character that crops up here and there on the album. In the lyrics pretty much anything in quotes is the voice of the Black Sheep Boy. I think a lot of the dirtier, rougher, more obtuse songs are the product of the Black Sheep Boy."[1]

The writing of the album took place during a difficult time for the band. The relative lack of commercial success of their previous albums meant that the band's future was in doubt and Sheff was rendered homeless in order to make ends meet and afford the costs related to the band's commitments.[2]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Alternative Press5/5[5]
The Boston Phoenix[6]
The Guardian[7]

Black Sheep Boy has received general acclaim. On the review aggregate site Metacritic, the album has a score of 86 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim".[3]

The album was ranked number 22 on's Top 50 Albums of 2005 list.[14] The music online magazine Pitchfork placed Black Sheep Boy at number 174 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s.[15]

Track listing[edit]

1."Black Sheep Boy"Tim Hardin1:18
2."For Real"Will Sheff4:42
3."In a Radio Song"Will Sheff5:39
4."Black"Will Sheff4:39
5."Get Big"Will Sheff3:55
6."A King and a Queen"Will Sheff3:22
7."A Stone"Will Sheff5:23
8."The Latest Toughs"Will Sheff3:11
9."Song of Our So-Called Friend"Will Sheff3:23
10."So Come Back, I Am Waiting"Will Sheff8:03
11."A Glow"Will Sheff3:43


  • Will Sheff – vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, wurlitzer
  • Howard Draper – lap steel, pump organ, mandolin, bass, synthesizer
  • Jonathan Meiburg – vocals, piano, wurlitzer, pump organ, Casio SK-1, electric guitar
  • Travis Nelsen – vocals, drums, tambourine
  • Zachary Thomas – vocals, bass, mandolin
  • Seth Warren – electronics, drums, vibraphone, whirlies, shaker
  • Amy Annelle – harmony vocals
  • Brian Beattie – bowed bass, sampler, field recordings
  • Rebecca Browne – violin
  • Alison Derrick – viola
  • Michael Kapinus – trumpet
  • Caroline Slack – violin
  • Ben Westney – cello
  • Victoria Wolff – cello

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Funk, Peter (April 27, 2005). "The Black Sheep Boys Have Arrived". PopMatters. Retrieved April 27, 2005.
  2. ^ Corcoran, Nina (6 April 2015). "Life Is Ugly: Okkervil River's Will Sheff on the 10th Anniversary of Black Sheep Boy". Consequences of Sound. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Reviews for Black Sheep Boy by Okkervil River". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  4. ^ McIntosh, Gregory. "Black Sheep Boy – Okkervil River". AllMusic. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  5. ^ "Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy". Alternative Press (202): 124. May 2005.
  6. ^ Wood, Mikael (May 6–12, 2005). "Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy (Jagjaguwar)". The Boston Phoenix. Archived from the original on March 18, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  7. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (August 19, 2005). "Okkervil River, Black Sheep Boy". The Guardian. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  8. ^ "Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy". Mojo (143): 114. October 2005.
  9. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (April 14, 2005). "Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  10. ^ Labrack, Jill (April 7, 2005). "Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy". PopMatters. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  11. ^ "Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy". Q (228): 122. July 2005.
  12. ^ Newlin, Jimmy (March 15, 2007). "Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy: Definitive Edition". Slant Magazine. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  13. ^ "Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy". Uncut (99): 87. August 2005.
  14. ^ "Best of 2005 List". Retrieved October 1, 2009.
  15. ^ Pitchfork staff (September 28, 2009). "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 200–151". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 1, 2009.