Run To Ruin - Nina Nastasia
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 90
    A beautiful album of uniqueness and unfailing spirit. [#23, p.96]
  2. 90
    These intimate hushes and lilts would be remarkable even as instrumentals.... Yet it's Nastasia's voice--and the words that it sings--that really sucks the air out of the room. [July 2003, p.102]
  3. 90
    Spare, beautiful, outstanding. [Jul 2003, p.128]
  4. 88
    Her countrified songs often begin as gothic lullabies, swallowed up in darkness and longing, as if the instruments themselves were suffering heartbreak. [#6, p.82]
  5. Nastasia’s pen has sharpened greatly since The Blackened Air. No more does she scratch out mental images and feelings into terse songs, but builds upon those images and experiences -- placing the listener in her worn, ragged shoes -- instead of in our Gucci’s, 20 feet away, behind a chained link fence.
  6. What keeps Nastasia from succumbing to grotesque melodrama is the razor-like incisiveness she brings to her lyrics.
  7. The most striking improvement is her singing. She's a stronger vocalist, her almost-plain tone rising into higher registers, and her usual range has grown more earthily gorgeous. But more than anything, she demonstrates a new expressiveness.
  8. Whatever spaces the arrangements leave enable the imagination to play as much of a role as the instrumentation.
  9. Curiously compelling for something so minimal, it's like nothing else around. [Jul 2003, p.110]
  10. All beautifully realized, the kind of album critics say they love and then file far, far away. [Jul 2003, p.113]
  11. By exposing the production devices and disrupting easy identification, Albini and Nastasia force intellectual engagement rather than mere reflexive emotional connection.
  12. Nastasia's gaze is still directed inwards, obsessed with the vivid minute imagery of relationships and an increasing dark streak -- a still-blackening air.
  13. Usually quiet though never passive, these songs lurch by, crowning, crowing, being cowed.
  14. The more Nastasia withdraws into her own world, the more attractive her music becomes.
  15. Albini captures a recording full of heart, a sound quiet and full, rough and clear.
  16. Where The Blackened Air sounded haunting, Run to Ruin sounds downright haunted, and, indeed, it's got moments filled with menace and chords written to make you feel uncomfortable.
  17. What gives the album life, though, is Nastasia's airy, intimate voice.

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