The Whigs, 'In the Dark' (ATO)

6
In the Dark
Critical Mass
Label: ATO

by Jon Young

After excelling at smart, scrappy rock in the vein of a down-home Replacements, the Whigs unfortunately have shifted course. Their third album sports a more generic, arena-friendly sound, as if displaying too much personality was a liability. Burdened with clattering drums andannoying echo, "Black Lotus" and "Naked" evoke duller artists, but "Auto-matic," a fine broken-hearted anthem, and the itchy "Kill Me Carolyne" strike a better balancebetween calculated packaging and memorable content, suggesting their bout of poor judgment could be short-lived.

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