User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 51
  2. Negative: 9 out of 51

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  1. zaqr.
    Sep 4, 2007
    8
    The truth is, I'm way too much of a fan to ever dislike anything the band does. i bought this early morning on august twenty-first. yes, i was well-aware of their new sound and maybe even values. and yes, it took some getting used to. but they're better than most other bands they'll be compared to and, as jenny has said in many interviews, they're trying everything. The truth is, I'm way too much of a fan to ever dislike anything the band does. i bought this early morning on august twenty-first. yes, i was well-aware of their new sound and maybe even values. and yes, it took some getting used to. but they're better than most other bands they'll be compared to and, as jenny has said in many interviews, they're trying everything. and this is a pretty good experiment. there isn't an awful song on the album. maybe two or three are mediocre, but mostly it's addictive. and... really enjoyable. Expand
  2. EinarJ.
    May 4, 2008
    6
    Sometimes, you love something about this album, other times you're wondering what you liked. 'Close Call' and 'Silver Lining' are the best tracks. 'Smoke Detecter' is atrocious.
  3. Graeme
    Nov 8, 2007
    2
    I'm just saying what everyone else is thinking... they sold out for this album. I know that people use that term whenever they want, but it fits in this case. I enjoyed all of their previous albums... I even enjoyed Lewis' solo album. But I couldn't force myself to listen through the whole CD. Some people say that their sound is evolving or maturing... that may be true, but I'm just saying what everyone else is thinking... they sold out for this album. I know that people use that term whenever they want, but it fits in this case. I enjoyed all of their previous albums... I even enjoyed Lewis' solo album. But I couldn't force myself to listen through the whole CD. Some people say that their sound is evolving or maturing... that may be true, but I don't like what they have become. Go listen to The Execution of All Things or More Adventurous if you want to hear Rilo Kiley at their best. Expand
  4. BlakeJ!
    Oct 24, 2007
    9
    I come at this from maybe a different angle. This is the first Rilo album I heard; I really liked Jenny's solo album so I gave this one a shot. Rilo asks a lot of the listener, no question, but it's a hell of a pleasant ride. Going backwards, More Adventurous and Extinction are also fine albums; I personally don't understand how anyone could be shocked by Under the I come at this from maybe a different angle. This is the first Rilo album I heard; I really liked Jenny's solo album so I gave this one a shot. Rilo asks a lot of the listener, no question, but it's a hell of a pleasant ride. Going backwards, More Adventurous and Extinction are also fine albums; I personally don't understand how anyone could be shocked by Under the Blacklight as a progression. And I don't know why that's a problem for so many. Look at it this way; they could have been like the Foo Fighters and put out the same record for the 6th or 7th time, now how much fun is that? I think this is the second best record of the year after Sarah Borges and Broken Singles. Expand
  5. TJW
    Aug 24, 2007
    10
    A lot of people will likely disagree with me, but I really think this is the bands best album. I love the blues influence, and definitely hear the Fleetwood Mac influence as well. Really not a bad song on here.
  6. AdamD.
    Aug 27, 2007
    3
    Can something really be terrible if it's terrible on purpose? Rilo Kiley answers in the resounding affirmative on this mind-numbingly inane album. Sounding like the worst possible outcome of a Debbie Harry/Paula Cole mash-up, the band features here some of their most soulless lyrics, spun repetitively on end in a series of johnny-come-lately neo-disco beats that wouldn't have Can something really be terrible if it's terrible on purpose? Rilo Kiley answers in the resounding affirmative on this mind-numbingly inane album. Sounding like the worst possible outcome of a Debbie Harry/Paula Cole mash-up, the band features here some of their most soulless lyrics, spun repetitively on end in a series of johnny-come-lately neo-disco beats that wouldn't have been fresh in 1981, let alone 2007. If this is a sly wink at mainstream flirtation, it's too sly by half, and if it's an actual honest and new artistic endeavor on the band's part, well, heaven help them. Those expecting the soulful depth and witful observation of albums past (including Jenny Lewis' and Blake Sennett's side-project releases) will be sorely disappointed, while anyone actually in the market for trendy, over-produced superficiality will likely be too busy listening to their Kelly Clarksons and Pinks to give this a chance. Expand
  7. MikefromMaine
    Sep 3, 2007
    6
    This disc is quite uneven, and honestly, the lower quality songs are almost embarrassing in a few cases. The country flavored songs are actually the weakest of the bunch, with the two album openers being the most annoying. The standouts on this are pop-oriented songs with a beat, those songs that are more Debbie Harry than Paula Cole, to borrow fromba previous review, which is puzzling This disc is quite uneven, and honestly, the lower quality songs are almost embarrassing in a few cases. The country flavored songs are actually the weakest of the bunch, with the two album openers being the most annoying. The standouts on this are pop-oriented songs with a beat, those songs that are more Debbie Harry than Paula Cole, to borrow fromba previous review, which is puzzling because I always preferred the band's country twinge. Check out the "Moneymaker," "Breakin' Up," and "Smoke Detector," to get a feel for the good stuff. Lyrically, they've done a lot better as well. The higher quality songs are good enough to overcome some of the (very) weak moments, provided you're willing to overlook these missteps. Expand
  8. JanH
    Jan 4, 2008
    9
    The more I listen to it the more I like even the not-so-good tracks (Moneymaker, 15). Very clever pop with sometimes a bit clumsy lyrics. The sound reminds me of Luna. It has been fun to listen to their older stuff now, there are some gems but this change in sound and attitude is more then welcome.
  9. ChadS.
    Nov 13, 2007
    8
    You shouldn't categorically write this album off because of its aggressive mainstream stance. Think of "Under the Blacklight" as the masterpiece Gwen Stefani never wrote. "The Moneymaker" is a little off-putting, yes, but "Silver Lining" and "Close Call" are great pop songs; commercially-minded songs with some substance. Giving the male vocalist his shot on "Dreamworld" reminded me You shouldn't categorically write this album off because of its aggressive mainstream stance. Think of "Under the Blacklight" as the masterpiece Gwen Stefani never wrote. "The Moneymaker" is a little off-putting, yes, but "Silver Lining" and "Close Call" are great pop songs; commercially-minded songs with some substance. Giving the male vocalist his shot on "Dreamworld" reminded me of how Downy Mildew used to feature a song by their male singer. Whatever happened to Downy Mildew? Expand
  10. MikeD
    Oct 22, 2007
    7
    In my opinion, Rilo Kiley's 2 previous CD's were 2 of the better releases of the decade. So following those up is a difficult task, which is partially why I have mixed feelings about this one. I think this a strong collection of songs, by a band that sounds cleary a little torn at this point between the old "commercial success vs artistic integrity" dilemma. The slick production In my opinion, Rilo Kiley's 2 previous CD's were 2 of the better releases of the decade. So following those up is a difficult task, which is partially why I have mixed feelings about this one. I think this a strong collection of songs, by a band that sounds cleary a little torn at this point between the old "commercial success vs artistic integrity" dilemma. The slick production is a little unsettling to say the least. Are they actually TRYING to sound like Fleetwood Mac? They do a damn good job of it on "Dreamworld" which may the best Fleetwood Mac song in 25 years. Jenny and Blake can still write great songs, but I get the feeling this may be the last time we hear them together. Expand
  11. javichun
    Dec 23, 2007
    9
    Brilliant album!!! One of the best this year!!
  12. Andrew
    Aug 23, 2007
    10
    A bold move for an already great band. Rilo Kiley pulls off their transition to a more polished sound seamlessly, without abandoning their signature qualities: sharp lyrics and gorgeous sounds and they still know not to take themselves too seriously.
  13. Iman
    Aug 24, 2007
    9
    I was a little worried when I first heard moneymaker and silver lining but this is a terrific CD and fulfills all of the band's promise as it mutates into a major LA band. One question, anybody know what song Jackson Brown is on?
  14. DanielC.
    Aug 26, 2007
    6
    I expected a little more from a major label debut. This album has it's high points, but even the strongest material pales in comparison to the material on the first 3 albums. I recommend giving this one a listen, but be prepared for a lack of interesting guitar work (that we all know Blake is capable of), as well as a different singing style by Jenny Lewis. Standout tracks are: I expected a little more from a major label debut. This album has it's high points, but even the strongest material pales in comparison to the material on the first 3 albums. I recommend giving this one a listen, but be prepared for a lack of interesting guitar work (that we all know Blake is capable of), as well as a different singing style by Jenny Lewis. Standout tracks are: "Silver Lining," "Close Call," "Dreamworld," and "The Angels Hung Around." Expand
  15. IsidoreD.
    Aug 26, 2007
    0
    It's not innovative. 70's revival is "in", and that's what they are doing here. I love this band, and repsect artist-evolution. This evolution just plain sucks. Someone else here hit the nail on the head. It is not cause they are "different", rather the album, isolated and listened-to abjectively, simply sucks and is totally boring. I could just play some Rick Springfield It's not innovative. 70's revival is "in", and that's what they are doing here. I love this band, and repsect artist-evolution. This evolution just plain sucks. Someone else here hit the nail on the head. It is not cause they are "different", rather the album, isolated and listened-to abjectively, simply sucks and is totally boring. I could just play some Rick Springfield or Fleetwood Mac. Why do I need to hear them take a stab at it? Sigh.. anybody suggest a band that can sell out AND retain some original ideas? Looks like they join post-Joshua Tree U2 and post Zeppelin Plant. Expand
  16. MattD.
    Aug 28, 2007
    10
    This is a vibrant, creative record that is still pop. We need more of this kind of thing. Too many times, are choices are between indie and top 40 radio music. But Under The Blacklight doesn't sound like either one. Also, more care was put into the songcraft than I originally thought. A response to a user review: It is a compliment to be lumped with good pop acts like Kelly Clarkson This is a vibrant, creative record that is still pop. We need more of this kind of thing. Too many times, are choices are between indie and top 40 radio music. But Under The Blacklight doesn't sound like either one. Also, more care was put into the songcraft than I originally thought. A response to a user review: It is a compliment to be lumped with good pop acts like Kelly Clarkson and Pink! Expand
  17. JamespeeF.
    Aug 29, 2007
    8
    A pleasant surprise of a record. It left me cold at first but reveals more and more with each listen. If only more records could reveal such depth -- and under 45 mins!
  18. Allan
    Aug 31, 2007
    9
    Great, one of their best. Every song is amazing except for Dejalo.
  19. DanA.
    Sep 19, 2007
    4
    This sucks bananas. A wonderful band, a terrible album. While i doubt this is the Liz Phairification of Rilo Kiley, it sure sounds like it.
  20. YngveL.
    Sep 25, 2007
    9
    Great tunes, and much better than their debut. This is probably one of this years best albums - right up there with The Shins!!
  21. ChaseB.
    Sep 8, 2007
    8
    I cannot understand why the hype about this album was all bad. It had me worried, honestly, that Rilo Kiley wasn't going to be able to produce something amazing; however, I was wrong to believe the others opinions and I'm a bit ashamed that I did. This album is great in all aspects. Rilo Kiley has always been about taking chances and that's exactly what they have done with I cannot understand why the hype about this album was all bad. It had me worried, honestly, that Rilo Kiley wasn't going to be able to produce something amazing; however, I was wrong to believe the others opinions and I'm a bit ashamed that I did. This album is great in all aspects. Rilo Kiley has always been about taking chances and that's exactly what they have done with this album- taken a chance. A return to a seventy-style pop sound, extremely personal lyrics ('Silver Lining', '15', and 'Breakin' Up' all prime examples), and the never ending fun that this band can put out, makes this album amazing, despite what people say. Although the lyrics are not oxymoronic, contradictory as they used to be in the start of their first EP ('The Intial Friend'), you still can doubt that these lyrics are packed with emotions. Plus, just listen to the beats make you want to dance. Expand
  22. AndyS.
    Sep 9, 2007
    8
    It is strange to see Rilo Kiley taking a safe route with their fourth group effort but then again, it isn't too surprising when you know that they are safely under the hood of Warner Bros now. While many critics will accuse Rilo Kiley of becoming a shameless sellout, I will argue this notion with the fact that Jenny Lewis and gang can still deliver a fresh, thought provoking, and It is strange to see Rilo Kiley taking a safe route with their fourth group effort but then again, it isn't too surprising when you know that they are safely under the hood of Warner Bros now. While many critics will accuse Rilo Kiley of becoming a shameless sellout, I will argue this notion with the fact that Jenny Lewis and gang can still deliver a fresh, thought provoking, and most blatantly sexually driven album. In comparison to More Adventurous, Under The Blacklight is on the upbeat track and proves that Rilo Kiley are capable of delivering other subjects (mainly sex and breakups) other than touching plainly on melancholia. Expand
  23. Mike
    Jan 6, 2008
    10
    A great, fun record that should be rulling the radio right now.
  24. MaisyM.
    Dec 24, 2007
    9
    Good Album. Pleasant Surprise.More a Jenny Lewis Launching pad than a rilo kiley album however.
  25. ChrisC
    Aug 23, 2007
    4
    Booooring. Pitchfork accused them of ironically courting mainstream. But this isn't bad because it's more mainstream-ish. It's bad because it's boring and lame.
  26. ChrisE.
    Aug 23, 2007
    4
    Well it's obvoius the good reviews for this major-label debut are all from mainstream media outlets. I've been into Rilo Kiley since 2003, "Take off and landings" "The Execution of all things" "More Adventurous" were so good! And this is just sooo..not. These songs are so mediocre, the polar opposite of why I fell in love with Rilo Kiley in the first place. It's obvious Well it's obvoius the good reviews for this major-label debut are all from mainstream media outlets. I've been into Rilo Kiley since 2003, "Take off and landings" "The Execution of all things" "More Adventurous" were so good! And this is just sooo..not. These songs are so mediocre, the polar opposite of why I fell in love with Rilo Kiley in the first place. It's obvious Jenny and the rest of the band have stopped being creative musicians and have now turned into another trendy hipster pseudo-indie band. Jenny Lewis used to make my heart melt, but I can honestly say I've tuned out and I'm over with Rilo Kiley. They have to know these songs are plain and boring...oh well... Expand
  27. liza
    Aug 26, 2007
    10
    perfect!!!
  28. blairs.
    Aug 27, 2007
    9
    Great! not their best, but certainly a really solid album!
  29. AaronE
    Aug 28, 2007
    5
    Catchy but completely without soul. Meet the new Rilo Kiley.
  30. Joe
    Sep 11, 2007
    8
    Mike from Maine just listed the three worst songs on the album and called them the best. Other than those three cheesy songs, it is a very enjoyable album.
  31. nickc.
    Sep 17, 2007
    3
    I haven't heard any of this band's previous albums, but had heard the name in hip indie mags and off the lips of scenesters ranting and raving about the next big indie girl band. This album sucks. It's not atrocious, it is slightly listenable, but that's it. The lyrics are awful. Yet again we learn that hype is complete bullshit.
  32. EmilyS.
    Jan 22, 2008
    10
    I love all the old albums, but this one takes the cake. So fun, but layered. I like each song more, each time I hear it!
  33. Mar 9, 2011
    8
    Under The Blacklight has some really good tracks. Jenny Lewis's vocals are amazing as always. She's just a natural born singer. The melodies are great. The songs are really catchy but somewhat falls flat towards the final half of the album but All In All, Under The Blacklight is a great album by Rilo Kiley. B+
  34. Apr 2, 2011
    9
    I actually had to create an account to throw in my .02, so I hope the ragey Rilo Kiley fans reading through the disappointed negative reviews will possibly get some light shed on the intentions of the band with this album. I never actually cared for this band up until a few weeks ago until my Last.fm played a few tracks from Under the Blacklight and I thought "That's a cool classic rockI actually had to create an account to throw in my .02, so I hope the ragey Rilo Kiley fans reading through the disappointed negative reviews will possibly get some light shed on the intentions of the band with this album. I never actually cared for this band up until a few weeks ago until my Last.fm played a few tracks from Under the Blacklight and I thought "That's a cool classic rock band. Who's the artist now? Let's see...Rilo Kiley??" I listened through all five of their albums consecutively to give myself a perspective on just what the band was. It's pretty clear that each of the band members have a say in what is recorded. Everyone has a different taste. Once I hit Under the Blacklight after just hearing "More Adventurous" a handful of times, it did sound on first listen to be the band "selling out". It sounded pretty sketchy. I understood exactly what the longterm RK fans had been saying in reviews about them trying hit it rich by sounding more mainstream. I have to wonder though, are any of those negative reviews actually listening to the content of this music? Under the Blacklight was still very distinctly RK. A mainstream group wouldn't have you thinking you were listening to Fleetwood Mac or Dusty Springfield. After listening to a few interviews with them, they stated very clearly that everyone had their turns at playing what they wanted to in the previous albums and they wanted to pull from (solely) their parents' music they'd hear on those "long car rides" and the sort. It's not the band selling out, no...it's just them doing something else yet again. Under the Blacklight was intended to be a cheer for the influences they grew up on, and if you can't hear that in the album, there might be a need to question if you've been truly listening to music or just the sound of it. Expand
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Yes, the beats are big and the sound is mainstream and commercial; however, the band sound restrained and uncomfortable.
  2. 100
    Under The Blacklight is by far and away the most accessible album that Rilo Kiley have ever made.
  3. Every one of the eleven songs attached to Blacklight is a stunner in purely musical terms.