The Weakness by Ruston Kelly album review by Otis Cohan Moan for Northern Transmissions


The Weakness

Ruston Kelly

The Weakness by Ruston Kelly is a more aloof and self-contained work, but depicting its author as a brave human who was knocked down, but not completely fallen to the ground and preparing to stand up and looking from below that strong power straight in the eyes – just like others, no less weak powers and obstacles in life.

Accompanying the general atmosphere of cold and hazy emotionality with a slight clang and a distantly resonant echo of instruments and arrangements,  Kelly, from track to track keeps a diary of reflection and recovery after a hard blow – a divorce with Kacey Musgraves in 2020 after a three years marriage. And although only a couple of songs more or less directly talk about this event on the album, all other tracks are subconsciously connected with this and surround this central theme with more distant, but nevertheless important for the overall plot events. There is also a room for more casual and frivolous tracks like “St. Jupiter” or “Michael Keaton” (which, however, are quite short, as if Ruston Kelly just doesn’t want to let himself and us relax too much), but mostly the songs are about reflection and stitching up wounds and abrasions, whether it’s emotional burnout, biographical motifs (framed in the form of an embellished and finalized demo on the ukulele recorded in the hotel room), as well as thoughts about how problems and difficulties make us stronger and how sometimes we still have to go through them in order to eventually become the best version of ourselves.

Even about the breakup itself, Ruston Kelly also speaks succinctly, as if leaving the final, short and capacious answers to all questions on the album, so as not to return to it again and not to be repeated twice. But the rest of the album continues the sonic metallicity and cold-bloodedness, full of ambient synthesizers, art-rock climaxes, harshness and reverb, as if showing that even though the main character did everything possible to relieve this burden from his shoulders – muscle pain from heavy gravity still pursues him. “The Weakness” is like a diary, sometimes returning to its main theme and main shock, but showing how much time has passed during this time and how all those events that have passed during this period – gradually close and overshadow the pain. This album is like a reminder that no difficulties are eternal and no matter how bad and broken you feel and now – you must not stop and give up, because no one will build from your ruins your happy future, which you want and dream about.

Order The Weakness by Ruston Kelly HERE


Looking for something new to listen to?

Sign up to our all-new newsletter for top-notch reviews, news, videos and playlists.