Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

Dark Was the Night [4AD, 2009]
Starting with the still-available, still-classic Cole Porter tribute Red Hot + Blue, the AIDS-fighting Red Hot Organization has sponsored many smart multi-artist charity albums since 1990, but no bigger conundrum than this two-disc alt-Brooklyn-plus coffee klatch. The second disc can be pigeonholed with the usual anti-comp cliches--uneven, second-shelf, too many covers, etc. In fact, though, its many big names (for that scene) have national scope and try harder than usual. As for the first disc, only scenesters will warm to it right off--assuming they don't just trash it like the good little boho contrarians they are. But give it more chances than any non-fan would and the thing coheres--quiet, strange, subtle, too subtle, like a dream you can't quite remember. A-