The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 45 Ratings

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  • Summary: Album number two for the Canadian indie-rockers is their first for Jagjaguwar.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Their overarching fingernail-meets-chalkboard eeriness... is what prevents a lapse into the preciousness that sometimes accompanies orchestrated indie rock, making the album a rousing success. [#16, p.90]
  2. 90
    An amazing album. [Mar 2007, p.75]
  3. So sure, yet another band of bombast, largesse, room-sound gone cathedral, but either way the Besnard Lakes have mastered their songcraft with this psychedelic oddity, which fits all too well with other wintry early-year indie releases.
  4. Taken as a whole, The Besnard Lakes display a unique style, a winning combination of intriguing songwriting and diverse arrangements.
  5. Too big in their influences and scope to fit in even the biggest pigeonhole imaginable, The Besnard Lakes thankfully produce music chock-full of tunes and spine-tingly loveliness not seen since The Beach Boys or more recently the sheer joy and ridiculous grandeur of The Polyphonic Spree.
  6. Moments of beauty cut through the bleakness.
  7. Sift through Are the Dark Horse and the sounds of the Beach Boys or Orbison can certainly be found, but the band has yet to learn the clean, economical songwriting of their influences.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  1. JoelZ.
    Nov 20, 2007
    10
    One of those albums I largely was unimpressed with at first listen but 10 listens later blown away, so intricate and beautiful.
  2. SteveR
    Mar 19, 2007
    10
    The Beach Boys meet Pink Floyd to create something completely new and fresh. One of the most beautiful albums you'll ever hear.
  3. JoePublic
    Apr 13, 2007
    10
    My favorite album of the year so far, though I'm looking forward to new releases from Rush, Marillion, Porcupine Tree, and Kan'Nal as well. Aside from the pretentiousness of "Devastation", a brilliant and startling album. I picked it up on a whim, warmed up to it after a couple of listens, and now I love it. Solid spacey post-rock. Expand
  4. christianp
    Mar 31, 2007
    9
    this album is so incredibly lush and gorgeous that it is more rewarding with each listen. the quote from Drowned in Sound says it all.
  5. ShaneM
    Apr 21, 2007
    9
    Amazing album that gets better and better with each listen. If you don't like this, then you just don't get it.
  6. Feb 26, 2014
    8
    Ideal storytellers of the Canadiana landscape, .... Are The Dark Horse is a heart pounder of an album, but lacks cohesion found in their later albums. Still doesn't deter enough for the first listens of this distant but barrelling drums, roaring yet quiet trumpets, and commanding yet ghostly vocals, all with some of the better guitar progressions coming out of the Great White North in quite some time. Expand
  7. ChrisW
    Mar 18, 2007
    1
    When are bands like this, Snow Patrol, and The Frames going to stop ripping off of Coldplay? This CD is junk... if you love Norah Jones... then you'll like this even more. If you can find a tempo, you'd be the first one to find one. Expand

See all 31 User Reviews