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Dark Matter Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: The first new studio release for the pop singer-songwriter in nine years was produced by Mitchell Froom, Lenny Waronker, and David Boucher.
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Top Track

Lost Without You
Even if I knew which way the wind was blowing Even if I knew this road would lead me home Even if I knew for once where I was going I'm lost out here... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Aug 4, 2017
    91
    Dark Matter is dense, complicated stuff, though it’s also an engrossing display of pop theater.
  2. Aug 4, 2017
    87
    It’s a long way from his turns as go-to Disney film composer, but on Dark Matter, Newman’s versatility, as ever, transcends pigeonholing and illuminates the smart aleck-y nature (with the emphasis on smart) of one of the world’s great songwriters once again.
  3. Mojo
    Aug 1, 2017
    80
    It's a little fragmented, maybe two or three songs too short, but still brimming with his sweet-sour magic. [Sep 2017, p.88]
  4. Q Magazine
    Aug 1, 2017
    80
    [Randy Newman returns] to what he does best: write and sing songs that veer from wild sentimentality to ambiguity to deep cynicism. [Sep 2017, p.113]
  5. Aug 7, 2017
    80
    Smart but never intellectual, given more to the words we use over the words we know, Newman peppers these stories with little references to the Great Migration, climate change (the swells on Willie’s beach keep getting bigger), global politics, and American myth.
  6. Sep 25, 2017
    70
    At this point in Newman’s career, fans can expect the orchestration and the indirect storytelling, the strange viewpoints and unusual characters. That’s what Newman does. And he’s still doing it well, turning his vision into music with renewed energy.
  7. Aug 3, 2017
    60
    Lyrically, Newman continues to play games that amuse him, but the logical and narrative backflips might be too much this time.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Aug 4, 2017
    8
    While the composition and melody is repetitive to his past material, all is forgiven with the lyrics, which is a welcome return to one ofWhile the composition and melody is repetitive to his past material, all is forgiven with the lyrics, which is a welcome return to one of music's best songwriters. Returning to his wise guy material from the 70s brings this music to life, especially when it comes with the modern political songs like Putin and the Great Debate. As well as some of Newman's most heartbreaking ballads with Wandering Boy and Lost Without You. While Newman is still as sharp as ever and has a fantastic ear for instrumentation and melody, I wish it was focused on either more political songs or more sincere songs. Either way, another great album to add in Newman's collection Expand
  2. Sep 12, 2017
    7
    It was fun, quirky, and heartfelt all at the same time, especially successful with soft dynamics and small textures that brought out a greatIt was fun, quirky, and heartfelt all at the same time, especially successful with soft dynamics and small textures that brought out a great harmonic language, even if song structures and overall organization seemed a bit too loose. My Score: 134/180 (Solid) = 7.4/10 Expand