Rolling Stone (9/20/90) - 4 Stars - Excellent "...this is the kind of high-volume torment and emotional open-heart surgery that hurts so good... rock & rock catharsis, post-punk..."
Stereo Review (11/90) - Recommended "...a darker album than WORKBOOK that finds the electric guitar back in full force as well as the rage and discontent that made Husker Du one of America's most popular alternative bands. The album neatly divides into halves, with one batch of songs railing about environmental woes while the others address a recently ended relationship..."
Personnel: Bob Mould (vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion); Tony Maimone (bass); Anton Fier (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Power Station, New York from March to May, 1990.
Having achieved a measure of critical and commercial success with his solo debut, the pop-flavored WORKBOOK, Bob Mould did what any self-respecting former punk rocker would do--he released a dense, angry record full of the kind of hurricane-in-a-blender guitar work he'd developed while playing in Husker Du. When the song chosen as a single, "It's Too Late," features lyrics like "The fish in all the streams are dying / Fluorocarbons fill the sky," you know that the proceedings are not going to be rosy-cheeked and pleasant.
Standouts include "Stop Your Crying," one of Mould's most anguished moments, his voice and guitar combining into a primal release of anger, fear, and pain. "The Last Night" is a brittle tale of regret that ranks with "Hardly Getting Over It" and "Too Far Down" (both Mould songs from the Husker Du album CANDY APPLE GREY), as among the most genuinely sad rock songs ever recorded. Ending with the tortured howl of "Sacrifice/Let There Be Peace," BLACK SHEETS OF RAIN is a cathartic scream from the edge of a personal abyss, a harrowing journey into some of the darkest corners of Mould's psyche.