Dark Developments - Vic Chesnutt, Elf Power, And The Amorphous Strums
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. The band gives a rootsy, gently spacey and slightly eccentric lift to Chesnutt’s songs, like a straightforward late-'60s folk group that’s been turned on to electric rock and become both more playful and more soulful.
  2. Fans of Chesnutt, Elf Power, or smart and adventurous pop music in general should put this one on their shopping lists.
  3. Though written and recorded quickly, it's hard to imagine how these tracks could have been improved on, as they effortlessly cover a wide musical expanse. [Jan 2008, p.124]
  4. It's evidence of a powerful songwriter honing his artistry.
  5. As a backing mini-orchestra, Elf Power and the Strums may not be as inventive as Lambchop or as dark as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but they give Chesnutt just want he needs: a relaxed and less rehearsed environment.
  6. Like all successful collaborations, Dark Developments plays beautifully to the strengths of both parties. [Winter 2008]
  7. Chesnutt’s vocals never intimidate, and Elf Power’s accompaniments and choral tongues are tasteful, careful not to overpower the vocals while innately aware how important the supporting cast is in shaping the overall mood.
  8. Dark Developments is another remarkably fine album from a musician who has been around doing what he does so long that he’s often unjustly neglected.
  9. Its gloom scuffs up the mostly sparkly and shiny Dark Developments, making it seem more akin to similar meditations on Ghetto Bells and North Star Deserter, yet its presence amidst the bouncier material is welcome, and demonstrates that the collaboration has the capacity to strike more than one note, and the potential to be more than your average side project or lark.
  10. 60
    This collaboration with Athens lo-fi specialists Elf Power isn't his most immediatly appealing set, but it's worth it just for 'Bilocating Dog,' a lovely shambles of a song with an absurd chorus. [Jan 2008, p.88]

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