Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Amongst the army of incredible contributors, all unified by melancholic production drawn from the ether of another age, David Lynch's star shimmers brightest.
  2. Often collaborative projects end up being an average of its participants, merging in the middle in a grey mulch. Dark Night of the Soul escapes all of that, Sparklehorse bringing the songwriting genius, and Danger Mouse the production, and the details - the watery sounds, the effects, the atmosphere.
  3. It's a complex, winding late-night soundtrack that doesn't move too fast, but never stops to question the judgement of its own unique outsider logic.
  4. For the most part, it sounds like the most joyous exploration of death and madness since, perhaps, "They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!"
  5. As it stands, there is a lot to like here and a lot to digest. One advantage to having so many vocalists is that each song can be separated and dealt with accordingly, giving the record the sort of film soundtrack feel I think the principle authors were aiming for. Other than that, this unburdens Sparklehorse fans slightly of the wait between albums by providing a mainly interesting and, at times, genuinely moving distraction.
  6. It's the airtight beats of Danger Mouse and the surreal songwriting of Linkous that make this a fascinating set.
  7. Dark Night is a well-sequenced and unique album that ingeniously balances its contributors' strengths with the overall theme of the work--self-examination, often under stark circumstances, in the interest of understanding one's own existence.
  8. It's a shame if Dark Night of the Soul ends up relegated to a cult souvenir; it's truly exceptional as music.
  9. The controversy nearly obscured the resounding triumph of the album itself; written and produced by Burton and Linkous, it's a breathtaking set of atmospheric ballads (plus a few rockers) that explore cosmic concerns, from the self-destructive trap of revenge to the possibility of spiritual renewal.
  10. Indeed, it's both comforting and sad to hear the audible fun involved in making this record.
  11. Albums like this are a reminder that we've perhaps lost something in the digital age. If it's true that we're the ones fumbling in the dark with rain falling over our heads, Dark Night is, at the very least, one bright ray of hope.
  12. Linkous's vocals make only a few brief appearances, but so much of his personality is in the songs that it feels almost like a tribute album he had a hand in recording. A proper coda to a storied, tragic career.
  13. And through the tragedy, what remains, this testament, is a spiraling exercise in gorgeous music, a record knee deep in that subtle legend, but ankle up a collection of tunes as haunting and surreal as the personas and events that surrounded it.
  14. Despite the delay, Dark Night of the Soul shows what a talent and what a generous collaborator we lost in Mark Linkous.
  15. It's engrossing and organic in a way other all-star drive-by projects rarely are.
  16. Dark Night Of The Soul certainly has its moments, but in spite of the sequencing it sounds like a collection of songs rather than a singular body of work.
  17. 60
    Dark Night Of The Soul will probably be remembered more for the stunt with the blank CD-Rs than for the music intended to be burnt onto them.
  18. Dark Night mostly fits together as an accomplished piece of downbeat concept-rock. The mood can get--to quote Chesnutt's song--"grim," but the artfulness shines through.
  19. As much as Dark Night of the Soul hinges on its creators' vision, the album comes to life through its collaborators.
  20. Here were two artists, anxious and passionate, who knew how to talk to each other. That connection is missing from much of the rest of this collection, an exercise in Rolodex-flexing and loose oversight.
  21. It's a project with too many authors and not enough personality, too many ideas and not enough meaning.
  22. Few contemporary pop albums have spoken to the human condition so eloquently, and given the listener so much pleasure in the process, than Dark Night of the Soul.
  23. There's a hesitating beauty to the nightmares explored on "Dark Night," from the keyboard symphonies of "Revenge," featuring a calmly paranoid vocal take from the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, to the carnival-like haunt of "Everytime I'm with You," led by a leery Jason Lytle (Grandaddy).
  24. Every song here showcases Linkus's gift for pinpointing little benchmarks in hopelessness with brittle gestures of melody and ambiance. It's also another reminder of Danger Mouse's ability to whittle lean pop shivs from gnarly splinters.
  25. Unfortunately, the ambitious concept proves too unwieldy to work as a consistent album.
  26. Dark Night is a vocal showcase: Lynch, James Mercer of The Shins and Broken Bells, The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, Iggy Pop, and several more stamp the tracks with appropriately brooding vocals. Only a few really stick, and not always in a good way.
  27. Under The Radar
    Most of the songs play like invertebrate retreads of Flaming Lips and Grandaddy-styled pomp. [Summer 2009, p.65]
  28. Alternative Press
    It's a shame it's a one-off, because Dark Night's trippy, psychedelic tunes are a true treat for your ears. [Aug 2010, p.146]
  29. Q Magazine
    For all the celebrity firepower, however, Dark Night Of The Soul never quite adds up to more than a handful of great moments. [Aug 2009, p.111]
  30. The Wire
    The feeling of opiated depressive inertia that weighs it down is compounded by the sugary viscosity of Danger Mouse;s production. Yet it's these slower songs, shaped by Linkous's Country-inflected enervation and Danger Mouse's attention to sonic detail, that work best, while the more up tempo, rockier tracks come off as perfunctory. [Jul 2010, p.53]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Jan 3, 2014
    Dark Night of the Soul is a collection of great songs with an all star cast of collaborators but in the end the result is less than the sum ofDark Night of the Soul is a collection of great songs with an all star cast of collaborators but in the end the result is less than the sum of the parts. I say this as I was expecting a total beast of a record but instead just found a really good one. The who's who of indie is present on a record that mixes excellent songwriting with sharp production and is well worth getting hold of. What goes against the record slightly is the number of different collaborations. This tends to take away for the continuity of the album. For example we get a trio of rock numbers in Little Girl, Angel's Harp and Pain in the middle of an otherwise very laid back and chilled out record. These songs kind of come out of nowhere and disappear again. I will say that I did come to the record expecting a little bit more but the record is nothing if not interesting and I'd recommend it to anyone into either Dangermouse or Sparklehorse. Full Review »
  2. Dec 7, 2011
    WOW WOW WOW WOW very awesome songs, nice work Danger Mouse and friends
  3. Dec 27, 2010
    I could have potentially written about this album last yearâ