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Ruins Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg was produced by Tucker Martine with contributions from R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Wilco's Glenn Kotche, and Midlake's McKenzie Smith,
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Jan 23, 2018
    91
    It’s the last three songs that push an already arresting album to the next level.
  2. Jan 18, 2018
    80
    Ruins is never complacent, though, keeping its rough, rustic edges, and allowing for the sounds of fingers on frets on quieter tunes like "To Live a Life." Lyrics don't put on a false front, either, and that's ultimately what makes the album linger.
  3. Feb 1, 2018
    80
    Wherever you listen, Ruins pairs tough truths and tender melodies with tremendous expressive punch, from the piercing self-investigations of the title-track to Hem Of Her Dress, where heartache and rage merge with raucous honesty. Meanwhile, Nothing Has To Be True hews beauty from transformative circumstance.
  4. Jan 19, 2018
    75
    It’s a very familiar take on Americana, full of heartbreak and yearning, but a damn reliable one.
  5. 70
    First Aid Kit’s latest may be a slightly more conservative gesture than their last record, but it synthesizes their many musical strains more fully than ever before.
  6. Jan 9, 2018
    70
    The album's lyrics are full of heartbreak and dashed dreams, so perhaps it was the Söderbergs' fragile state of mind that inspired them to venture tentatively out of their comfort zone.
  7. 50
    Ruins isn’t a bad record, or a weak one, it’s a boring one.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Feb 8, 2018
    10
    Phenomenal album from the Soderberg sisters. They tap even further into the classic country influences that have always permeated theirPhenomenal album from the Soderberg sisters. They tap even further into the classic country influences that have always permeated their records. This sound that is "more country" than their previous albums is the perfect backdrop for the heartbreaking lyrics of Ruins. Ruins is an album about being crumbled to pieces in the wake of the end of a long-term relationship. This album almost takes you through the "stages of grief" with songs like "Fireworks" that highlights longing and reminiscing and songs like "Hem of Her Dress" that offers an angrier point of view as to why and how a relationship might crumble.

    With Ruins, First Aid Kit built a tragic album that, though it may be a bit depressing at times, sounds amazing and taps into all of the emotions that surround the end of something you thought would last longer than it did.
    Expand
  2. Mar 14, 2018
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A 60s folk tale set in the 21st Century

    The wonderful thing about being an indie artist, is that you are able to choose your own path before the fame and "advisors" come in to the picture...
    As is the case for the Söderberg sister a lá First Ait Kit ( a Swedish yet international darling) as they embark on the sweet yet melodramatic love tales with that very so, true 60s vibe.

    I guess 2012s Lana Del Rey is a part of the blame...
    She showed me that not all music should be fast paced, filled with techno or a sick beat, (even though her Summertime Sadness ft Cedric Gervais remix does just that...). Anyway. As i listened to her i took my sweet time to fully comprehend what i'm listening to as it is not fun toned, it's not happy love story but rather the dark mind of our melodramatic-Lana and it is quite haunting yet very reletable so it is ever so much a beauty to be hold. If you are wondering why am spouting about Ms Del Rey, hang on i'm wrapping that part up.
    As my bond grew larger and larger, i fell in love with this genre they call alternative pop but heck no! I'm calling it modern-art deco.
    I was at the end of Honeymoon already feeling the urge to explore this genre further on through various other artists.
    Some were hits and some were misses.
    But recently i've had nothing short of an jackpot...

    Now we're getting on the First Aid Kit-track again.
    Almost a year later, First Aid Kit dropped their fourth LP "Ruins" (apparantly Metacritic don't acknowledge their 8 track LP "Drunken Trees" from 2008...) and i wasn't disappointed the least bit. If anything fell flat for me, is the fact that they don't stay fully on the melodramatic route, as 90% of the album is just that.
    The two main things that make me see the Söderberg sister's alias has to be that they are in sync. When one sister first sings, the other one come and make a harmonic echo that clash amazingly like Oreo and Milk, (no i'm not apologizing for that statement.)
    The other thing is their main genre. I've always had quite the passion for folk tales as they seem traditional and original, as they use melodic tools that screams pure nature! (Mother Earth would agree with me...)
    I mean... it's not suprising, Sweden a lá Scandinavia are one of folk culture's birth places.
    It takes us back to a simpler time when lyrics weren't assosiated with rear ends, over-drinking, bragging about how much money you earn, that others should respect you and so much more that tells me easily *you're a egotistic self-preserved tool*.

    How are the songs you ask me?
    Well they are (like i said earlier) quite identical to one another (with a few exceptions when it comes to the overall tone). Some will find it quite boring but i fancy good structure. It's important that your artwork has an idendity that you'll understand because when that artwork has several (Looking at you "Man of the Woods - Justin Timberlake"...) you'll get lost and end up rather confused than amazed. And it will often have to do with the fact, you put too many genres in an already established genre for the project.
    That's not the case with "Ruins". It took a detour a few couple of times but it instantly knew how to get back on track and that's an admiration to be held.

    So what is my end-verdict (after reading this don't you think that's a very so little clever question...)?
    They are the equivelant of Vance Joy in the folk culture-department.
    I loved both Mr. Joy's Lps, so i'm instantly falling enchanted by the hands of Klara- and Johanna Söderberg.

    Favorite tracks: Fireworks, Hem of her dress
    Least likeable: Postcard.
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  3. May 13, 2018
    9
    First Aid Kit released 'Ruins', a confident collection of indie-pop songs that call upon the girl's beautiful song-writing abilities withoutFirst Aid Kit released 'Ruins', a confident collection of indie-pop songs that call upon the girl's beautiful song-writing abilities without drowning in their influences. Expand
  4. Apr 22, 2018
    8
    "Ruins" é um álbum convincentemente bom! Novamente, uma arte que mostra o melhor lado das irmãs "First Aid Kit", porém, comparando-o com os"Ruins" é um álbum convincentemente bom! Novamente, uma arte que mostra o melhor lado das irmãs "First Aid Kit", porém, comparando-o com os dois últimos e fabulosos álbuns ("The Lions Roar" e "Stay Gold"), seria uma heresia muito grande colocar "Ruins" no mesmo patamar que os outros, o que é uma pena. As mudanças de estilo, mesmo que sutis, levam as irmãs uma nova fase da carreira, porém, é nítida a falta de imponência nas faixas. Algumas, como "To Live a Life" e "Hem of Her Dress", ilustram bem esta ausência de peso - tão marcante nos trabalhos anteriores de FAK. Porém, ainda assim, é um grande e belo trabalho. Expand
  5. May 5, 2018
    7
    This is the first album of theirs that I personally thought was worth buying. These two girls have incredibly beautiful voices but musicallyThis is the first album of theirs that I personally thought was worth buying. These two girls have incredibly beautiful voices but musically are not going to blow you away. Their past albums have had one or two incredibly good songs on them with the rest kind of beings duds. "Ruins" is their first where this is not the case. The album may not have any high points as incredible as "Emmylou," but it really doesn't have any real low points either. Every song is consistent and lyrically pretty nice. Listen to "Postcard," "Rebel Heart," and "Hem of Her Dress." If you like those then I would recommend this album for you. These girls could be really great if they got a solid band behind them that could produce an inspired sound. Otherwise, we'll make due with their amazing harmonies and pretty lyrics. Expand
  6. Jan 20, 2018
    6
    Being a First Aid Kit record, "Ruins" has, as expected, gorgeous vocals throughout, and a general pleasant easy-listening quality to it.Being a First Aid Kit record, "Ruins" has, as expected, gorgeous vocals throughout, and a general pleasant easy-listening quality to it. However, as an album, it is easily their most inconsistent yet.
    The first half is pretty great. "Rebel Heart" is a really good start to the album as it showcases the vocal ability of the Söderberg sisters on the forefront, with minimal instrumentation except for a great instrumental break towards the end. Then we get the three amazing singles "It's A Shame", "Fireworks" and "Postcard", all of them which are great and catchy for their own reasons (Especially "Fireworks", possibly one of the best ballads the duo ever produced). Closing the first half, we find the grower "To Live a Life", a devastating song about learning to live alone and the hopes of solitude being just a dream, it starts off unassuming and bursts into full catharsis towards the end.
    But then the second half kicks in, and it just flies by leaving no impression whatsoever. The most memorable song on this side of the record, "Hem of Her Dress", is easily the worst son on the album, playing off like an unfinished song that was added a cheesy and very annoying "LALALA" chant at the end to give it closure. It's also important to mention that this song follows the very quiet title track, so the transition is very awkward. The closing track, "Nothing Has to Be True" is very sleepy, and for some reason, it has a cacophonous drone at the end so as to trick the listener to think FAK is trying new things and experimenting, but it just comes out as obvious.
    Overall, this project is fine, with great songs to elevate some okay ones. FAK has made another album with the kind of music everyone can enjoy passively.
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  7. Feb 5, 2018
    0
    big trash..................................................................

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