This years best albums countdown

# 13. Okkervil River - The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar)

This is Will Sheff's fourth album or something and his and Okkervil River's best effort yet. Not that the other albums haven't been great, they just haven't been great all the way through. This one is. The mood is a lot happier than what we are used to with this band, not necessarily so much happier lyrics, but the melodies are uplifting and joyful. Especially on the albums first songs "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe" and "Unless it Kicks". The album also ends on a happy note with a great reworking of the classic "Sloop John B", this time called "John Allyn Smith Smiles". My own favourites are the heartbreakingly beautiful countryballad "A Girl in Port" and the catchy "Plus Ones" which namedrops famous songs with numbers in them and just plus one on the number. 51 ways to leave your lover becomes 52 and so on.

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