"Lost Coastlines" picks up with the story of that mid-level band, one last beautiful duet with parting band member Jonathon Meiburg (who left Okkervil River this spring to focus on his equally successful band, Shearwater) describes the Jack Sparrow-ish troubles of a band leader pretending to know where the future of a now upper mid-level band is headed. "Singer/songwriter", with its honky-tonk Lucinda Williams feel, is a great put down song, listing the accolades of the subject's family, then proclaiming "You've got taste, what a waste that that's all that you have."
"Calling and Not Calling my Ex" is a romping yet poignant song about witnessing the success of the one who got away, amplifying the singer's pedestrian, pathetic life. The crown piece of the album is "Pop-Lie" (which opens with a completely intentional appropriation of a Tom Petty guitar riff) an ironic tribute to every top ten you ever loved growing up.
While not initially as striking a masterpiece as The Stage Names, this album more than reinforces Okkervil's excellent reputation. The orchestration is incredibly complex- the band, pared with Sheff's vocals, creates beautiful messes, exemplifying the idea that things don't always make the cut. Okkervil is one of those critically acclaimed bands that put on a tremendous live show (besides Radiohead, the best I have ever seen), has stellar songwriting, and luckily doesn't get over hyped.