Where previous First Aid Kit albums make heartbreak sound romantic, Ruins just sounds heartbroken -- period. From the darkened harmonies uttering "nothing matters, all is futile" on the opening "Rebel Heart" to the realization that "some things never heal with time" tucked inside "Hem of Her Dress," failed relationships and the wear and tear of pop fame haunt these songs--which are still Americana, but this time around given a significantly more baroque treatment courtesy of producer Tucker Martine. But while a good deal of the aptly titled Ruins feels like music for stormy, overcast days, there's also moments of catharsis that, like sunlight, break through the clouds. One such moment is the defiantly shuffling "It's a Shame" on which Johanna and Klara Söderberg sound as if they've battled through adversity only to come out the other end stronger, more self-assured individuals.
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