Dark Night of the Soul (album)

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Dark Night of the Soul
Dark Night of the Soul.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 12, 2010 (2010-07-12)
GenreIndie rock
  • Danger Mouse
  • Sparklehorse
Alternative cover
Final release cover
Final release cover

Dark Night of the Soul is a studio album by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, featuring collaborations by numerous notable musicians. Its release was postponed due to a legal dispute with the album's distributor EMI. It was finally released in July 2010, about a year after it had been leaked to the Internet and Danger Mouse had released a blank CD-R as a way of working around the dispute.

The album was commercially successful in the United Kingdom, and was well-received by music critics.


The title of the album derives from La noche oscura del alma, the title given to a poem by 16th-century Spanish poet John of the Cross.

Dark Night of the Soul features a wide range of collaborators, including James Mercer of The Shins, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Black Francis of the Pixies, Iggy Pop, Nina Persson of The Cardigans, Suzanne Vega, Vic Chesnutt, David Lynch, and Scott Spillane of Neutral Milk Hotel and The Gerbils; these singers also had a hand in composing and producing the work.[1]


Legal dispute with EMI[edit]

The album was the subject of a legal dispute with the project's record label EMI. It was initially reported in early 2009 that there was a possibility that the album might never see release.[1] However, the book was made available for sale on the official website of Dark Night of the Soul, bundled with a blank recordable CD-R. All copies were clearly labeled as follows:

The audio portion of the album was widely leaked around the same time.[3]

Without going into detail, EMI acknowledged the legal dispute and released the following statement:

Both parties of the dispute remained silent about the particulars, but it is believed that the problems with distribution centered on a record deal that Danger Mouse signed with Lex Records.[4]

In early 2010, it was announced that Dark Night of the Soul was slated for a tentative summer 2010 release, even though the CD-R version had been available since the previous May.[5] A Lex Records logo appears next to the Capitol Records logo on the final version.

Official release[edit]

The full album was officially released July 12, 2010, in multiple formats.[6] The album features a hand-numbered 100-plus-page book of photos taken by David Lynch, said to be a visual narrative for the music.[7] This book was limited to 5,000 copies.

This was the final album that Sparklehorse leader Mark Linkous completed before his suicide on March 6, 2010, although In the Fishtank 15—recorded in 2007—was released later, and Linkous was working on another LP at the time of his death. It was also one of the final works recorded by Vic Chesnutt before his suicide.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The A.V. ClubB–[3]
The Guardian4/5 stars[10]
The New York Timesmixed[11]
PopMatters9/10 stars[13]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[14]
Slant4/5 stars[15]
Spin8/10 stars[16]
Uncut3/5 stars[8]

Dark Night of the Soul reached No. 32 in the UK Albums Chart. It has been-well received by music critics. PopMatters wrote: "Few contemporary pop albums have spoken to the human condition so eloquently, and given the listener so much pleasure in the process, than Dark Night of the Soul. It's no exaggeration to say Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse have crafted a near-masterpiece."[13] The New York Times was less favourable, writing: "especially for a record that required so much effort, too much here feels incidental. Dark Night may end up being the final document on the ineffectiveness of Danger Mouse, a better conceptualist and prankster than producer."[11]

Track listing[edit]

1."Revenge" (featuring The Flaming Lips)4:52
2."Just War" (featuring Gruff Rhys)3:44
3."Jaykub" (featuring Jason Lytle)3:52
4."Little Girl" (featuring Julian Casablancas)4:33
5."Angel's Harp" (featuring Black Francis)2:57
6."Pain" (featuring Iggy Pop)2:49
7."Star Eyes (I Can't Catch It)" (featuring David Lynch)3:10
8."Everytime I'm With You" (featuring Jason Lytle)3:09
9."Insane Lullaby" (featuring James Mercer)3:12
10."Daddy's Gone" (featuring Mark Linkous and Nina Persson)3:09
11."Man Who Played God" (featuring Suzanne Vega)3:09
12."Grim Augury" (featuring Vic Chesnutt)2:32
13."Dark Night of the Soul" (featuring David Lynch)4:38
Deluxe Edition MP3 bonus tracks
14."Dark Night of the Soul" (Sparklehorse Mix)4:34
Exclusive MP3 download bonus tracks
14."Revenge" (Instrumental)4:54
15."Everytime I'm with You" (Instrumental)3:11


Chart Peak
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[17] 80
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[18] 35
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[19] 71
French Albums (SNEP)[20] 100
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[21] 70
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[22] 40
UK Albums (OCC)[23] 32
US Billboard 200[24] 24
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[25] 5
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[26] 9


  1. ^ a b c Hilton, Robert (June 27, 2010). "Exclusive First Listen: Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse Team Up with David Lynch". NPR. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  2. ^ "Danger Mouse to Release Blank CD". BBC News. May 16, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Matos, Michaelangelo (July 13, 2010). "Review: Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse: Dark Night of the Soul". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  4. ^ Sisario, Ben (June 11, 2009). "A New CD That Has No Music but Lots of Pictures". The New York Times. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  5. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (March 9, 2010). "Remembering Sparklehorse Frontman Mark Linkous: 1962–2010". CNN. Archived from the original on March 11, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  6. ^ "Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and David Lynch's Album Gets Official Release Date". NME. April 22, 2010. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
  7. ^ "Dark Night of the Soul". dnots.com. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  8. ^ a b "Reviews for Dark Night of the Soul by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  9. ^ Lawrence, Alistair (July 7, 2010). "Music — Review of Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse — Dark Night of the Soul". BBC. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  10. ^ Simpson, Dave (July 9, 2010). "Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse: Present ... Dark Night of the Soul | CD Review | Music | The Guardian". The Guardian. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (July 11, 2010). "New CDs". The New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  12. ^ Harvey, Eric (May 27, 2009). "Album Reviews: Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse: Dark Night of the Soul". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  13. ^ a b Gonzales, Matt (June 24, 2009). "Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse: Dark Night of the Soul | PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  14. ^ Dolan, Jon (June 15, 2009). "Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse Present: Dark Night of the Soul : Danger Mouse : Review : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  15. ^ Pareti, Andy (June 9, 2009). "Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse: Dark Night of the Soul | Album Review | Slant Magazine". Slant. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  16. ^ Walters, Barry (June 9, 2010). "Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse Present: 'Dark Night of the Soul' (EMI) Entrancing transmission from the grim beyond". SPIN. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse – Dark Night of the Soul" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  18. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse – Dark Night of the Soul". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  19. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse – Dark Night of the Soul" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  20. ^ "Lescharts.com – Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse – Dark Night of the Soul". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  21. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  22. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse – Dark Night of the Soul". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  23. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  24. ^ "Sparklehorse Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  25. ^ "Sparklehorse Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  26. ^ "Sparklehorse Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 25, 2019.

External links[edit]