Root For Ruin - Les Savy Fav
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Jan 11, 2011
    80
    Root For Ruin is the best synthesis of its pop and oddball sides yet, with flailing, manic surges serving as comfortable bedrocks for solid melodic hooks.
  2. 80
    Root for Ruin's dreamy ferocity is familiar, but the feeling of camaraderie keeps growing.
  3. 80
    Les Savy Fav hunker down to return to what they do best: a masterful combination of post-hardcore energy, tight white funk and playful art-school abstractions. [Oct 2010, p.104]
  4. 80
    Roots For Ruin burns with their reignited love of Fugazi, Pixies and Pavement. [Oct 2010, p.98]
  5. While Root for Ruin isn't the creative reawakening that Let's Stay Friends was, it might be the band's tightest and most polished album yet.
  6. This is perhaps their strongest yet, their angular sounds augmented by a succession of memorable hooks, any one of which could be the one to break them into the mainstream after 14 years. [Oct 2010, p.121]
  7. Les Savy Fav received high marks before, but this album proves this oft-comical band are no joke. [Oct 2010, p.116]
  8. Some have suggested Les Savy Fav have become of late. Or is it just that they're more comfortable in their own skins now? [18 Sep 2010, p.57]
  9. Les Savy Fav's fifth studio album finds the veteran Brooklyn quintet further channeling the gonzo energy of their live show, and with winning results.
  10. Are the three snoozers--or the fact that the hooky, frenetic "Lips 'N Stuff" boasts the embarrassing refrain "Let's be friends with benefits"--enough to sink the album? Not with ode-to-abandon ragers "Appetites" and "Excess Energies" kicking out the artful jams, or the menacing Suicide thrum of "Poltergeist" and the barely controlled guitar squalls of the creepy/uplifting closer "Clear Spirits," which ranks among the band's best ever.
  11. Dull tempos, disengaging moments, recycled ideas--all egregious offenses, yes. Luckily, Les Savy Fav have earned a decade's worth of goodwill to cushion a just-OK album or two landing in their discography, which makes Root For Ruin a well-deserved victory lap, if nothing else.
  12. Root For Ruin is an album of decent, somewhat disappointing Les Savy Fav songs, but as its come to pass in the indierealm, any batch of Les Savy Fav songs is better than no batch of Les Savy Fav songs.
  13. Root For Ruin is a worthy continuation of their oeuvre, and a better album than 07's "Let's Stay Friends."
  14. They have delivered another album which is at least 70% corking. It's just that they're much better when on stage, playing these tracks while scaring the life out of you.
  15. Ruin isn't as irresistibly tuneful as 2007's great Let's Stay Friends, but like that album it shows off Harrington's secret weapon: his sensitive side.
  16. Root For Ruin is hardly a great album, but it is an affirmative gesture toward commitment, to each other and to their craft.
  17. Unlike anything else on the album, Clear Spirits stands out, with its submerged melodies, insistent basslines, and cascading guitars. If nothing else it proves that Les Savy Fav can still be vital and are still writing challenging, inventive material.
  18. The band's songs are formally simple but always smart, loud but neat. Nothing on Root for Ruin stretches much past four minutes in length; the album fits in with its predecessors in this respect, and if it feels slighter than Les Savy Fav's best work, it's only by dint of its faithful similarity to that earlier material
  19. Les Savy Fav has finally delivered an album worth shrugging about.
  20. Root for Ruin doesn't have the ecstatic heights of Let's Stay Friends, but it's more level-headed in a way.
  21. It's so smooth, this record, that it's sometimes too smooth, to the point to being slight.
  22. Root for Ruin is an infectious, smart, and well-executed record. But in a discography that has always sounded like it was well executed while it was pushing towards something new, something more refined than the last sound, parts of this album make it feel like a plateau.

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