It's Frightening - White Rabbits
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. At 10 songs and 35 minutes, there’s no filler, not even on the obligatory final comedown 'Leave It At The Door,' which is all fluttery woodwinds and exhaustion.
  2. It's Frightening kicks into high gear from the get-go, and never looks back.
  3. 82
    This makes for an important sophomore release that is even more sweepingly seductive than "Fort Nightly." [Spring 2009, p.92]
  4. When Patterson says, "While you're out taking aim, and taking orders." It sounds like an indictment, and is one of the many small touches that litter this near-perfect second album. [Spring 2009, p.68]
  5. Daniel justly brings the band’s best attributes to the foreground and It’s Frightening ends up being a tight and concise album.
  6. White Rabbits recruited Spoon frontman Britt Daniel to produce It's Frightening, an appealingly audacious move that reveals just how tightly these guys define their sound. That self-awareness is apparent in the band's music as well--nothing seems out of place in these tidily arranged soul-punk tunes, most of which revolve around piano and bass rather than guitar.
  7. White Rabbits favor physical instruments over electronic abstractions, and the drums kick the music toward an American sound that fortifies its brains with muscle.
  8. It’s Frightening builds upon White Rabbits’ established aesthetic and at the same time sharpens the band’s shambling attack.
  9. The script might contain plenty of familiar elements, but they're ably, and occasionally superbly, shuffled and recast.
  10. While playing catchy, well-crafted songs isn't necessarily a bad thing, it is sometimes less than exciting.
  11. 70
    Ignore (or embrace) the similarities [to Spoon] and there’s plenty to love about songs as lightly brooding and likably grabby as these.
  12. Always on the verge, but never quite becoming too polished, It’s Frightening is an exciting step forward from a group that would appear to have a masterpiece to deliver somewhere down the line.
  13. Like "More Specials," the Specials' second-record departure, It's Frightening isn't nearly buoyant as its predecessor. Insofar as its purpose is to rattle the bones, it's a fidgety, impenetrable success.
  14. The only instruments that aren't slaves to the beat are Gregory Roberts and Stephen Patterson's vocals, which mingle into perfectly messy harmonies.
  15. Twin drummers Matthew Clark and Jamie Levinson are oustanding, but it’s Patterson who’s the real star – an all-American frontman whose honey-coated voice is practically begging for adoration.
  16. It’s Frightening is far from a bloodless copy of a more vivid being; it is, rather, a living, breathing creation, one that is only dubiously theirs.
  17. It’s Frightening isn’t a bad album in its own right. There are certainly worse things than making a record that’s frequently catchy but not terribly exciting.
  18. It’s Frightening is by no means a record which is without merit. I suspect that the production work of Spoon’s Britt Daniel has infused it with more presence than it might otherwise have had. However, that notwithstanding, the album’s lack of anything substantial to get your teeth into proves fatal.
  19. 60
    And while White Rabbits' wild Americana and freaked folk makes for a varied and vivid sprawl of sounds, their knack for addictive melody and honed songcraft delivers a beguiling, coherent and memorable whole. [Feb 2010, p. 97]
  20. Building a forthright sound on upfront drums, piano and Stephen Patterson's angsty vocals, tracks including Burundi-drumming lead single Percussion gun and the suspenseful groover Right Where They Left are a winning balance of art-indie mope and pop energy. [Feb 2010, p. 113]
  21. Their rhythm section (ooh, two drummers!) is serviceable but generally underwhelming, and song by song the record just falls flat.
  22. More often than not, It's Frightening is caught on middling ground, at once striving to be unpretentious while still hoping to challenge listeners' expectations. The album accomplishes neither, however, as the band's aversion to let sound fall where it may produces little beyond impressions of gloppy heavy-handedness and obtuse haze.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. NicholasS
    May 23, 2009
    9
    Ever since discovering this band's near perfect debut, "Fort Nightly", I couldn't wait for them to finish their much-talked about Ever since discovering this band's near perfect debut, "Fort Nightly", I couldn't wait for them to finish their much-talked about second record, "It's Frightening". Although the record is not perfect, they have focused in on their craft and have found their sound this time. The record is a breath of fresh air in a world where critics are on the edge of the seat waiting for the next Green Day record. Full Review »
  2. Mar 9, 2012
    10
    Alongside with The Heavy's House that Dirt Built, and Mariachi El Bronx I, this was of the 3 best albums of 2009. A fantastic record thatAlongside with The Heavy's House that Dirt Built, and Mariachi El Bronx I, this was of the 3 best albums of 2009. A fantastic record that I've listened to over and over, many times. Full Review »
  3. DanF.
    May 20, 2009
    8
    It's missing some of the spunk of "Fort Nightly" (which was a 9 for me), but it is nonetheless a great album. "Midnight And I" is my It's missing some of the spunk of "Fort Nightly" (which was a 9 for me), but it is nonetheless a great album. "Midnight And I" is my favourite track. Full Review »