Album Review: First Aid Kit – Ruins

Release date:  January 19, 2018

Published by JB

7/10

“But I give in so easy
And I give up instantly
I chase what is gone
And my friends are getting tired
Of the shit that I pull

take from ‘Nothing Has To Be True’, First Aid Kit (2018)

Nothing was going to come easy on First Aid Kit’s latest release.   Their past two albums (2012’s The Lions Roar and 2014’s Stay Gold) included their greatest song to date, ‘Emmylou’, and the vinyl-jumping, ABBA-like ‘My Silver Lining’.   Those two tracks alone established First Aid Kit as not only eclectic, but also as a vibrant, eye-candy young duo developing a sound that was their very own.  Nobody looked like them.  Nobody sounded like them.   They owned their own piece of the alt-pop, indie scene.

Their viciously beautiful harmonies and alt-country roots mixed with the head bobbing, disco flourishes of ‘Silvery Lining’ set a high standard for opening singles that quite frankly Ruins doesn’t keep up with.

Ruins, though, still stands tall on its own merits.   Vibrant from front to back it brings out the best of the Soderberg ladies with the beautiful ballad ‘Fireworks’ and the ethereal album closer ‘Nothing Has to Be True’.   However, the opening single, ‘It’s a Shame’ doesn’t deliver the results the First Aid Kit marketing team probably would have hoped.  For a band on the cusp of crossover greatness, that’s a painful, but recoverable blow.

Most likely, First Aid Kit’s live show presence will continue to flourish, while Ruins eventually slips into catalog obscurity.   It’s a fine addition to First Aid Kit’s live repertoire, but a general disappointment when the band needed an opening single to push them into the mainstream where they deserve.

P.S.  The cover photo to the album is absolutely stellar.   Should end up as best of the year.

–TWTHS

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