The Stand Ins

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For other uses, see Stand-in (disambiguation).
The Stand Ins
Okkervil River - The Stand Ins cover.jpg
Cover Art by William Schaff[1]
Studio album by Okkervil River
Released September 9, 2008
Genre Indie rock
Length 40:12
Label Jagjaguwar
Producer Brian Beattie[2]
Okkervil River chronology
Golden Opportunities Mixtape
The Stand Ins
I Am Very Far

The Stand Ins is the fifth full-length studio album by American indie rock band Okkervil River, released on September 9, 2008.[3] The album is the second half of The Stage Names, a planned double album. The title comes from the term 'stand-in', a person who substitutes for the actor before filming for technical purposes. If the cover art for The Stage Names is placed above that of The Stand-Ins, a complete picture is formed.[3] The album charted at #42 with 11,000 copies sold, according to the Billboard 200.[4]

Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg and guitarist Charles Bissell of The Wrens contributed to the album.[3]


Conceived as a companion piece to The Stage Names, The Stand Ins continued the band's preoccupation with pop culture, celebrity suicide, and life as a musician. The track "Lost Coastlines," which features a duet with Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg, deals with trying to keep the band together despite the band's constant touring.[5] "Starry Stairs" depicts the life and suicide of porn star Shannon Wilsey.[6] The final track on The Stand Ins, "Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979," details the career and disillusionment of glam rock musician Bruce Wayne Campbell (better known as Jobriath).[6][7]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars link
Drowned in Sound (8/10) link
Entertainment Weekly (A) link
Pitchfork Media (8.0/10) link
PopMatters 9/10 stars link
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars link

The Stand Ins has received positive reviews. The album currently has a score of 78 out of 100 on the review aggregate site Metacritic, indicating "Generally favorable reviews."[8]

Popmatters' Joseph Carver praised the album's narrative, writing "Once again, a record made up of relatively unlikeable characters becomes a fixture in your psyche thanks to Will Sheff’s ability to find the humanity in their stories."[5] Pitchfork Media also praised the album's lyrics, with reviewer Stephen Deusner calling Sheff " of the best lyric-writers going in indie rock." Deusner continued: "Song for song, he can jerk a tear with a carefully observed detail or turn of phrase... but it's the way those songs talk to one another that makes Okkeril River albums so durable and fascinating." [9]

In a less positive review, Melanie Haupt of The Austin Chronicle criticized the album for being unpolished and unfocused, writing "The Stand Ins doesn't really figure out what it wants to be until its second half."[10] In another mixed review, Magnet's Chris Barton also criticized the album for being unfocused, writing "Okkervil River can deliver terrific songs when ambitions are kept in balance, but this uneven record is in dire need of an editor."[11]


All songs written and composed by Will Sheff

No. Title Length
1. "Stand Ins, One"   0:47
2. "Lost Coastlines"   5:31
3. "Singer Songwriter"   3:49
4. "Starry Stairs"   4:01
5. "Blue Tulip"   6:18
6. "Stand Ins, Two"   0:31
7. "Pop Lie"   3:12
8. "On Tour with Zykos"   4:54
9. "Calling and Not Calling My Ex"   4:21
10. "Stand Ins, Three"   0:54
11. "Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979"   5:54


The following people contributed to The Stand Ins:[1]


Chart (2007) Peak
US Billboard 200 42[12]
US Independent Albums 5[12]


  1. ^ a b The Stand Ins - Credits. Allmusic. Retrieved 20 June 2011
  2. ^ Jagjaguwar press release
  3. ^ a b c Okkervil River Reveal Full Details of The Stand Ins (Pitchfork Media)
  4. ^ "Metallica Scores Fifth Straight No. 1 Album". Billboard. 2008-09-17. 
  5. ^ a b Carver, Joseph. Okkervil River: The Stand Ins. Popmatters. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2011
  6. ^ a b Howe, Sean. The Stand Ins Review. Entertainment Weekly. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2011
  7. ^ Monger, James. The Stand Ins - Okkervil River. Allmusic. Retrieved 20 June 2011
  8. ^ Critic Reviews for The Stand Ins. Metacritic. Retrieved 20 June 2011
  9. ^ Deusner, Stephen. Album Reviews: Okkervil River. Pitchfork Media. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2011
  10. ^ Haupt, Melanie. ACL Fest Sunday Reviews: Okkervil River. The Austin Chronicle.
  11. ^ Barton, Chris. OKKERVIL RIVER: The Stand Ins. Magnet. 9 September 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2011
  12. ^ a b The Stand Ins - Okkervil River. Retrieved 19 June 2011

External links[edit]