Maybe you shouldn’t be entertained

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Okkervil River – Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe

In “Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe,” Will Robinson Sheff’s lyrics saunter aimlessly around the absurd. It’s wordplay for the sole sake of wordplay, acoustically pleasing phrases devoid of any meaning. “Where the lock that you locked in the suite says there’s no prying / When the breath that you breathed in the street screams there’s no science.” Lovely. Empty.

During the four-minute and 26 second song, Sheff sings 216 words. Only nine of them matter.

The line “It’s just a life story, so there’s no climax” enters right before the minute mark and disappears before sixty seconds end. It is, fittingly, not the pinnacle of the song or even the verse. It’s not the climax of anything, really; more a vital observation masquerading in the place where a throwaway remark should go. A wandering mind will miss Sheff’s best insight. (The following line, “No more new territory, so pull away the IMAX,” returns immediately to light, airy, ridiculous tricks with rhyme schemes.)

“Our Life” eventually peaks, hitting its highest note as pounded chords and a cacophony of noise explode behind Sheff’s silly simile: “Like a pro at his editing suite takes two weeks stitching / up some bad movie.

The man in question is bored, but he’ll be fine; we don’t live movies. Nor should we. How simultaneously tiring and overwhelming would that get, spending our days trapped along a plot-line that’s crescendo-ing and descending rapidly enough to keep an audience happy? [Buy.]

2 Responses to “Maybe you shouldn’t be entertained”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by tunetheproletariat and tunetheproletariat. tunetheproletariat said: RT @elrob: Read this @tunethepro post by the unerringly excellent Noah Davis: […]

  2. Sam says:

    Great band and awesome song selection, man. Good writeup.

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