Like other volumes of Open All Night, In the Shadows is designed to be late-night road music -- music that sets the haunting atmosphere for introspection, or at least cruising. Since the collection is designed to have a specific mood, there aren't familiar items here, even from familiar names like Suzanne Vega, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, and R.E.M. (although these album tracks are favorites of fans). In the Shadows fulfills the bill of mood music particularly well (even the liner notes are mood-setting -- it's prose fiction from producer Thane Tierney instead of something that explicitly explains the goals and music of the collection). It leans toward dream pop, which is good since the etherealness of that music fits the "in the shadows" category particularly well. This is naturally a collection that sounds good only if you're in the mood for it, but if you're taking a long trip late at night, it works quite well.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine