Dark Was The Night - Various Artists
Dark Was The Night Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Summary: The compilation album features tracks from a variety of indie-rock/folk musicans to benefit Red Hot Organization, a charity for HIV/AIDS.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Of 31 tracks, a few inevitably feel like throwaways; overall, though, it's a satisfying smorgasbord, and a nice fix for fans waiting on new records from indie stars like Arcade Fire, Yo La Tengo, and the Decemberists.
  2. The truth is, practically everything on Dark Was the Night is exceptionally well done. Even when they aren’t covering but contributing original recordings, everyone brings their A-game.
  3. This being a compilation, not everyone brings their A game—contributions from The Arcade Fire, Spoon, Iron And Wine, and Cat Power come off as disappointingly perfunctory and hastily sketched--but as a yearbook photo of the class of 2009, it should age remarkably well.
  4. The Brothers Dessner have performed admirably here. Dark Was the Night does more than just keep the Red Hot tradition alive. It sets a new standard.
  5. By any metrics, this latest compilation from AIDS/HIV awareness foundation Red Hot Organization is a great one. [Winter 2009, p.76]
  6. Though some of the tracks contributed by Dark Was the Night's artists are a touch too predictable, it's uncharitable to nitpick too much when the collection offers so much music for such a good cause.
  7. Despite such big hitters as Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens and Arcade Fire, it's an overly introspective affair, with little standing out bar contributions from The Decemberists and Dave Sitek. [Mar 2009, p.102]

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. JesseM.
    Mar 17, 2009
    Uniformly, stunning work. Nevermind the cause, the music leaves you breathless and out of a compilation comes something that has coalesced around the Dessner's work at the assembly line. **** all those "NPR-friendly" type review attitudes copping a pose for their editors, this is genuine music done genuinely. Expand
  2. JimM
    Feb 23, 2009
    The Comp as a whole shows how the indie rock cream rises to the top in today's music industry, but I was really expecting more from the Arcade Fire and Chan Marshall should have put in a little more effort than simply rephrasing "Amazing Grace." Expand
  3. EricC
    Feb 25, 2009
    This is the rare kind of compilation that functions beautifully as an album instead of as a mix tape. Every single track is from an incredibly prolific band or musician, and everyone dedicates so much heart and talent in to their songs. Guys I personally normally don't care for (Antony Hegarty, in particular) contribute stunning vocal work. It may never get too adventerous, and most tracks tend to be singer-songwriter fair, even from the more rockin' bands. But for it's ceaseless elegance and heartbreaking beauty, I can't recommend it enough. It's probably the best album I've heard so far this year. Collapse