In The Dark - The Whigs
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17
  1. 80
    The Replacements-inspired tattered intensity of the band's first two LPs is still present, but working with multiple producers has brought enough variety to keep the surprises coming. [Apr 2010, p.109]
  2. On In the Dark the band has paired its roadworthiness with greater ingenuity, and it finally feels like a fuse has been lit.
  3. The 11-song set draws from some of the Big Apple's more established rock outfits, but still keeps the DIY feel of the Whigs' previous albums.
  4. Baffling production questions aside, In The Dark is still another solid entry into what's becoming a pretty spotless discography for a band with seemingly little aspirations to do anything but be a predictable answer to what a band called "the Whigs" would sound like.
  5. The Whigs absorbed every rock trend of the '90s, consciously taking in the cool stuff while the mainstream tunes seeped in, and here they turn In the Dark into something that's a guilty pleasure for anyone raised on grunge.
  6. The band's third disc is the sharpest distillation of its neo-college rock yet, with Animal Collective producer Ben H. Allen's arty, wall-of-sound approach brightening singer-guitarist Parker Gispert's underdog anthems while rarely slowing them down.
  7. 70
    The album does have spots that border on being too polished, so these Southern gents would do well to remember that everything is better with a little bit of dirt on it. [Winter 2010, p.100]
  8. Apr 4, 2011
    60
    There's nothing staggeringly new happening here, but it's all deftly delivered and sure to find favour. [Mar 2011, p.106]
  9. 60
    The lyrics are largely uncomplicated musings about disastrous love and lust but the band manages to broaden its musical style without compromising its core identity. A solid next step in the band's evolution and not a bad listen either.
  10. 60
    Their third album sports a more generic, arena-friendly sound, as if displaying too much personality was a liability.
  11. At times, Parker Gispert's voice is buffed clean of any individual characteristics; at other times, it's contorted into a hackneyed imitation of Southern rockers such as Jim James. The album's best moments, unsurprisingly, are those in which the band lays off the mixing knobs.
  12. In the Dark is an excessively fundamental album (guitars, drums, and bass, chorus-verse-chorus-that's all there), and viscerally, it's not too offensive.
  13. The trio's ambitious, albeit generic arena rock sound proves more appropriate for frat boys than campus indie rockers. [Spring 2010, p.72]
  14. You could call it "rock on autopilot". It would be a good description. If you asked some space creatures to create an album of banal Earthling arena rock, they might very well create In the Dark using a tentacleful of the simplest mathematical algorithms.
  15. While the songs certainly do the Whigs no favors, the production and mixing on Dark are downright unconscionable, making one long for the relative restraint of Don Gilmore or Andy Wallace.
  16. In the Dark is a big, loud, dumb record, filled with songs about not respecting women you bang on the bus ("Someone's Daughter"), feeling empty inside ("So Lonely" and "I Don't Even Care About The One I Love") and being for real ("I Am For Real").
  17. This is not an observation about theme--the record is unremarkable in both sound and execution.

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