Under the Blacklight Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

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  • Summary: After dabbling in solo projects, the band regroups for its fourth album, produced by Jason Lader.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. 100
    Under The Blacklight is by far and away the most accessible album that Rilo Kiley have ever made.
  2. 90
    Creamy and precise, every coo and arpeggio blows through your ear buds like the ruffle of crisp bills.
  3. 80
    Lewis' wordplay smartly unspools over the course of a song--with 'Breakin' Up,' she creates a 'Since U Been Gone' for grown-ups, and on '15,' narrates an Internet jailbait vignette without melodrama or moralizing. [Sep 2007, p.132]
  4. Under the Blacklight is at once more ethereal that anything Rilo Kiley has ever managed previously.
  5. When Rilo Kiley stick to bittersweet pop, as on '15,' a country romp about underage sex, the results are engaging enough. But that marriage of extremes is hard to pull off, and on 'Breakin' Up' they get it horribly wrong.
  6. Fans will love it, but if you're not already on board, this album won't change your mind. [Oct 2007, p.169]
  7. Lewis has tons of charisma--but it's a shame the shift in focus coincides with an album so superficial that her characters' hollow-eyed come-ons seem genuine by comparison.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. Apr 2, 2011
    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 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
  2. Mar 9, 2011
    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+ Expand

See all 34 User Reviews