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Top Ten Albums Of 2018 - Number 7

A note before I start. This is not the definite list of the best albums of 2018, but my personal top ten.I have only included albums that I own, and there will be notable and popular records not in this top ten simply because I have neither the time or inclination to listen to them all. It's okay to disagree!

With that said here's my selection for number 7.

Ruins by First Aid Kit


The fourth album from the Swedish sisters who sound like they grew up in Nashville, not Scandinavia, and which arrives three and a half years after the excellent "Stay Gold", is another step forward.
Although it is an advance to their craft and career, to do so it has to look back, dealing mainly with the collapse of Klara Söderberg's relationship. As is often the case, misery makes for great art.

It kicks off in great style with "My Rebel Heart" which features an nice change of groove about two thirds of the way through along with a western themed trumpet solo on the outro.

This gives way to almost jaunty, musically at least, "It's A Shame", which feels a little insubstantial after the opener.

The title track though is an absolute classic country heart-breaker, and feels like one of those songs that, as Bob Marley once said, was out there waiting to be discovered.


The classic country feel and theme continues with "Postcard". 'I wasn't looking for trouble, but trouble came' is a line Hank Williams or Johnny Cash could have written.

"To Live A Life" with it's delicate finger-picking reiterates that is much more of a country album than the pop-tinged "Stay Gold". "My Wild Sweet Love" is a track that musically at least, feels as if it could have come from the aforementioned 2014 album. 

The quality and themes continue through the back end of the album, with "Hem Of Her Dress" standing out for the 'classic song' feel and also featuring some nice choir vocals. 



Album closer "Nothing Has To Be True" starts slow but reaches the sky and is a great way to close out one the albums of the year. 

It's also worth noting that the album features a high quality supporting cast that includes Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Glenn Kotche of Wilco.

A superb album, and I'll be interested to see where the sisters take their music next.

"They say why do you love those who turn you into a fool?"

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