Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 80
    Rkives is an excellent time capsule. Here's Rilo Kiley, preserved and earnest and hooky as ever.
  2. May 24, 2013
    A somewhat random but enjoyable and welcome compilation.
  3. May 21, 2013
    Cathartic and beyond satisfying. [Jun 2013, p.102]
  4. May 21, 2013
    It's a sad farewell, as this mostly filler-free set of outtakes, demos and b-sides reconfirms.
  5. May 13, 2013
    While it might have been kinder to leave Bury, Bury, Bury Another and Runnin' Around unreleased, much of the rest offers hints at just what a thrilling band they were becoming. [Jun 2013, p.113]
  6. May 10, 2013
    Even at 16 tracks, RKives feels paltry and incomplete. [No. 98, p.59]
  7. May 7, 2013
    As a mini-EP of ‘new’ material, these musically diverse tracks are strong enough to make you yearn for the fifth album which will probably never come.
  8. May 6, 2013
    RKives as a whole, hopeful and appreciative above all else, a way for the band and the fans to celebrate what they had one last time before returning to the present, to careers already well into the next phase.
  9. May 6, 2013
    Rkives doesn’t shed any light on Rilo Kiley, there’s no standout defining track that was flippantly consigned to a b-side or the vaults. Instead, it’s a collection which provides more satisfaction than surprise.
  10. May 3, 2013
    The great thing about rkives, though, is that as much as it constitutes an absolute boon for long-time fans, it works as a fine introduction to the band on its own merit.
  11. 70
    Like so much of their previous output, it’s an incredibly bittersweet listen, but this time it’s less about Lewis’ wistful reflections and more to do with rueing what might have been if they’d continued; those first four cuts hint at a genuinely superb record having been in the works pre-split.
  12. Apr 25, 2013
    There are some creative dead-ends, but there is enough here to warrant a reappraisal. [Jun 2013, p.94]
  13. Apr 11, 2013
    Revealing more to outsiders than, say, that entire Nirvana box set, it revels in the seemingly defunct L.A. pop greats' status as old-school virtuosos who turned the new school on.
  14. Near as I can hear, all that marks these terrific songs as outtakes etc. is that they're slightly less produced and dramatic.
  15. Apr 8, 2013
    Rilo Kiley always had the ability to acknowledge the bad without letting it suck you down. That got lost on the weirdly glossy, distant and jaded Blacklight, but RKives restores the balance.
  16. Apr 8, 2013
    While plenty of the set is for collectors only, Rilo Kiley has provided a number of songs as strong as their previously released material.
  17. Apr 4, 2013
    RKives begins and ends as a “fans only” endeavor, but the compilation provides an essential supplement to the Rilo Kiley discography.
  18. Apr 4, 2013
    While this collection is a welcome, if brief, return to the band's heyday, it naturally doesn't stand on its own as an album.
  19. Apr 4, 2013
    Rkives is a full-sounding collection that reads like a long-lost Rilo Kiley album from the early-2000s.
  20. 70
    While there’s a lot to love on RKives, as with any postmortem compilation, it runs the risk of lacking cohesion and coming across as a jumble with no common threads.
  21. Apr 4, 2013
    Rkives rounds up existing rarities--several B-sides and demos--and six unheard songs, plus a remix featuring Too $hort. That is the most radical shift in sound on Rkives but there are hints of the glitzy bombast of Blacklight scattered throughout the collection.
User Score

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User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 16, 2014
    What a bittersweet album, it shows how this band was terrific and it's own worst enemy. They were at their best when they were unstructuredWhat a bittersweet album, it shows how this band was terrific and it's own worst enemy. They were at their best when they were unstructured and passionate. They failed in the attempt to focus there message into a mainstream whole. Emo, indie, country/folk with Jenny Lewis' heartbreak lilt. This is an album which defines a time and a place. Southern California at the turn of the Millennium. Rkives reminds us of where Rilo Kiley came from, both literally and stylistically. Full Review »