Dye It Blonde

Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
Buy On
  1. Jan 14, 2011
    75
    Dye It Blonde slows down a tad, too often eschewing bright, spot-on hooks in favor of washed-out '60s texture. But when they get it, they really get it.
  2. Sep 12, 2011
    67
    Dye It Blonde certainly demonstrates polish over its predecessor with the leap to Fat Possum.
  3. May 12, 2011
    80
    This is glorious summer music, possibly the summer of 1974, but sunshine all round none the less.
  4. May 3, 2011
    80
    Dye It Blonde has unexpectedly crept into contention for being my favourite record of 2011 so far.
  5. Smith Westerns might not play barre chords, but they're properly good songwriters – smart kids with mean tunes, sharp minds and great record collections.
  6. Apr 28, 2011
    80
    Hooks, in fact, are the thing here: Dye It Blonde is crowded with them. It's a joy to hear a band who want you to enjoy their music, not just admire it.
  7. Apr 20, 2011
    80
    Smith Westerns are that rare treat: an intelligent indie band with a love of a good tune and a good time.
  8. Apr 18, 2011
    80
    When you have the knack, as this band most clearly have, of infusing your music with such full and rich emotion, then it makes sense to use that as your primary method of conveying meaning.
  9. Feb 11, 2011
    75
    It would be more of a worry if Dye It Blonde's high points weren't so revelatory or well-executed because while it's not a conceptually brilliant record, there are enough triumphs to score a summer romance and get cut up on mix CDs.
  10. Feb 3, 2011
    70
    Dye It Blonde ends up capturing the post-Beatles hole in the most authentic way possible.
  11. Jan 28, 2011
    90
    The band never merely repeats itself here, creating a record that sounds at once cohesive and loaded with singles. It's a rare feat, and one that usually gets overlooked by critics shooting for the zeitgeist. Good for us that we didn't miss out on this one.
  12. Jan 21, 2011
    80
    The band isn't doing anything that hasn't been done before, but damn if that doesn't seem to matter a lick while listening to the record. It's just too youthful, effervescent, and charming.
  13. Jan 20, 2011
    100
    Gorgeous fuzz guitar leads and glam rock glitter dominate, offset by soft layered harmonies and dreamy textures.
  14. Jan 18, 2011
    81
    It's that mix of dedication to cool and earnestness that makes Dye it Blond endearing and surprisingly timeless despite its obvious wink to the past.
  15. This is why Dye It Blonde is truly a success: the band have moved from the garage noise-rock sound to a much more atmospheric one wherein the noise is harnessed into multiple layers of melodic instrumentation.
  16. Jan 18, 2011
    91
    Teen dreaminess aside, Dye It Blonde shows that Smith Westerns' giddy mash-ups of stately Beatles melodies and T. Rex swagger play even better when buffed to a high gloss.
  17. Jan 18, 2011
    80
    Anyone who liked the debut and was filled with apprehension about what would happen next will be pleasantly surprised, and might even end up liking this record more.
  18. 75
    At the very least, Dye It Blonde is a promising step forward for a group that's still growing into its talents.
  19. Jan 18, 2011
    80
    The Chicagoans' sophomore full-length is tightened and scrubbed clean of a few of the layers of reverb that doused their debut, bringing to the forefront an ambitious and dexterous level of songwriting that belies their ever-so-slightly-post-adolescent ages.
  20. Jan 18, 2011
    84
    Though the leap is audibly huge, Dye It Blonde's many successes aren't wholly the result of its gilded production values and ambition. This band was able to furnish first-class melodies from the beginning. Now they've grown along with their resources.
  21. Jan 18, 2011
    70
    The second disc from this Chicago trio is what David Bowie might call a total blam-blam--an overpowering blast of glam-rocking gorgeousness.
  22. 70
    Doing their best to make the most out of a situation and other people's preconceived notions and arbitrarily established boundaries, the boys of Smith Westerns made their Britpop magnum opus, for better or for worse. Here's to the next cut and color they choose.
  23. Jan 14, 2011
    80
    Dye It Blonde blows away the fuzz and polishes the scratchy sounds off their last recordings, revealing a whole lot of something we didn't hear before.
  24. Jan 14, 2011
    90
    The band recorded in a real New York City studio, with a real producer, Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Beach House). And the songs are even better.
  25. Jan 14, 2011
    75
    When the band amps up the tragic guitars and the vocal swoon, Dye it Blonde convincingly creates its own world.
  26. Q Magazine
    May 31, 2011
    80
    An effortless marriage of modern dream-pop loops and classical 70s guitar lines, it entertains notions of Thin Lizzy and Steely Dan, while producer Chris Coady lends the whole a steadfastly modern feel. [Jun 2011, p.120]
  27. Under The Radar
    Mar 23, 2011
    70
    Notably talented musicians, expect that by their next album, Smith Westerns won't just emulate their influences, but fully embody what could become a unique sound. [Feb. 2011, p. 72]
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Jan 22, 2011
    9
    Total step up in production from the debut. They cleaned things up and actually wrote some awesomely memorable songs. If you like rock, youTotal step up in production from the debut. They cleaned things up and actually wrote some awesomely memorable songs. If you like rock, you should like this. You can easily see the T Rex and brit pop influence in the record. 10 love songs that fly by in a flash, whats not to love... Full Review »
  2. Aug 22, 2014
    10
    Never have I heard such a rock album with such value, such soul. Must be listened to front to back in one sitting to fully comprehend the rawNever have I heard such a rock album with such value, such soul. Must be listened to front to back in one sitting to fully comprehend the raw emotive and musical passion within. Full Review »
  3. j30
    Apr 23, 2012
    5
    After hearing Weekend and reading some of the review on Metacritic I thought I'd give Dye It Blonde by the Smith Westerns a try. The resultAfter hearing Weekend and reading some of the review on Metacritic I thought I'd give Dye It Blonde by the Smith Westerns a try. The result felt unsatisfying as hearing some the songs I've heard from Real Estate. The lyrics are catchy, while the music is pretty bland for me. I really wanted to like it, but it's pretty forgettable stuff. Full Review »