Various Artists (Indie)
Dark Was The Night


4.0
excellent

Review

by Antonio Sanchez USER (2 Reviews)
October 11th, 2009 | 15 replies | 6,510 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist


1 of 1 thought this review was well written

If ever a piece of music I have yet to wrap my head around, the charity compilation album has always been a bit of a hit-or-miss. Sure, buying these albums is always noteworthy; after all, it’s for a good cause. Sadly, however, these albums rarely ever rise to the occasion, often times coming across as a poorly run, crudely produced, B-side mixed album from cashed-in, radio-dominating artists. Well, leave it to two hailed alternative artists, Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, to put together one of the best charity albums in years. Collective ears, meet Dark Was the Night.

Being the Red Hot Organization’s twentieth anniversary, this AIDS fighting music organization went entirely all out on this two disc, thirty-one track album. Clocking in at two hours and ten minutes, Dark Was the Night manages to truly grab the listeners attention due to its veteran lineup of credited folk and indie artists, of which includes The Decemberists, Bon Iver, Feist, Sufjan Stevens, Iron and Wine, Andrew Bird, Grizzly Bear, and even Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes.

Starting the album off right with a Dirty Projectors cover of “Knotty Pine,” the album sets a high bar from the get go and rarely ever drops below. Whether it be the soulful drone of Bon Iver’s “Brackett, WI,” the candle lit confessional of Feist and Ben Gibbard’s acoustic “Train Song,” or the playful accordion Beirut ballad “Mimizan,” Dark Was the Night rarely ever provides a dull moment.

While not entirely an accessible album, one can expect a wide spectrum of musical instruments and genres to collide within Dark Was the Night. Acoustic guitars greet an eerie choir of techno beats, horns, and a trembling piano in Sufjan Stevens' ten minute disc-one epic closer, "You Are the Blood." As if this plethora of musical excellence wasn't enough to exhaust even the most seasoned of music lovers, underground hip-hop artist Buck 65 provides a worthy, yet slightly condensed, cover of the Sufjan Stevens track, "Blood PT. 2."

Album highlight, and easily one of the best songs of 2009, showcases indie artist My Brightest Diamond and their coffee house, beatnik cover of the Anthony Newley/Leslie Bricusse tune “Feeling Good.” Starting off with a lone Shara Worden, this New York-native belts out a slow churning melody, carefully crooning a soothing silhouette of waltzing syllables before reaching a grand eruption of strings, brass, and woodwind. If you’re not nodding your head and snapping your fingers furiously by the end of the song, I believe it’s time you set up an appointment to get your ears checked.

For what it lacks in the "radio-friendly" department, Dark Was the Night more than makes up with its dream-team lineup of excellent alternative artists, superbly crafted songs, and it’s noteworthy cause, making it an album I can’t recommend enough.


user ratings (96)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Ryan Flatley EMERITUS (4.5)
...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
ant4tbc
October 12th 2009



373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So...I wrote this up for my high school paper so it's a bit short.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 12th 2009



3762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album/compilation/thing is amazing. There's almost zero filler here and its just Gaah.

Love.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

scotish
October 12th 2009



835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hey, this review was pretty damn good, basically says everything that needs to be said about this and still described why I (and I'm guessing most people) that've listened to this love it. have a +pos, sir

SmurkinGherkin
October 12th 2009



1769 Comments


so i should get this

Kiran
Emeritus
October 12th 2009



6000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you'd be missing out on a very good thing if you didn't

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

Annabanana3478
October 12th 2009



2 Comments


Will you marry me?

ant4tbc
October 12th 2009



373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No.

Annabanana3478
October 12th 2009



2 Comments


Why not? You told me you'd be with me forever, even when you're at UNM.

Kashmir09
November 18th 2009



772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I heart Dark Was The Night

Douglas
January 8th 2010



9061 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

More like AWESOME Was The Night

TRMshadow
May 20th 2010



4982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Holy Crap is this amazing!

scotish
June 4th 2010



835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so far round the bend is just awesome

SoapySoap
September 3rd 2010



865 Comments


"so far round the bend is just awesome"

Damn righghght

patroneyes
June 16th 2011



1919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you are the blood is amazing

cinaedus
June 16th 2011



26298 Comments


you are the blood is one of the best songs ever

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn



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