Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Nothing here feels like soapboxing; instead, the lyrics are subtle and poignant, with as much emphasis on storytelling as dissent.
  2. Every song on this album is outstanding.
  3. The Mendoza Line have mined this kind of socio-political territory before, but never with so much fatalistic maturity.
  4. While The Mendoza Line's lyrics may be full of light and full of fire, the music here is not.
  5. Full of Light and Full of Fire is easily one of the best albums of the decade.
  6. 80
    Political without preaching, sexy in a bookish way, this record will keep you up talking with someone you'd like to kiss. [Dec 2005, p.149]
  7. A beguiling blend of astute social commentary and first-rate music that rocks, weeps and testifies.
  8. A wonderfully crafted album built on songwriting that is witty and potent.
  9. [Full Of Light] transmits wizened poetry and rec-room intimacy with Music Row-worthy craft.
  10. The group's albums tend to not make a strong impression the first time through. Fortunately, Full of Light and Full of Fire amply justifies the effort. [Feb/Mar 2006, p.105]
  11. As always, this longtime indie band shines brightest when mopey-voiced Shannon McArdle steers the music away from conventional alt-country. [25 Nov 2005, p.103]
  12. 75
    The best bummer-country band of this sucky century. [Dec 2005, p.107]
  13. The earthy tones, accomplished songwriting and passion within Full of Light give Mendoza Line newcomers good reason not only to hear their new album, but also to dig into their back catalog.
  14. As long as it keeps coming up with songs as arresting and moody as the allusive addiction study "The Lethal Temptress," The Mendoza Line should get its due one day.
  15. The Line may be as polarizing as ever, but fuck me, can it play a righteous drinking song.

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