I have been a huuuge fan of Rilo Kiley since around the time their first album, The Execution Of All Things, came out in 2002. That was 11 years ago and still, that album remains one of my all-time favorites. It is perfection. Between then and 2007 Rilo Kiley released several EPs and four full length albums in total, though many would like to forget Under The Blacklight happened, myself included. It was terrible. It was not the band that I discovered and immediately latched onto as if it were a life vest that could help save me as a teenager; instead it was a group of people wondering if they could throw their already established and unique identity in the trash and start over for a more mainstream audience (no, no they could not.)
After a several year hiatus, they officially disbanded in 2011. However, as with every single musical artist ever, Rilo Kiley had written and recorded a lot more songs than those that were released throughout the years, and this past April a compilation album of rarities and B-sides entitled rkives was released.
I just found rkives this past week. I’m blaming Spotify for this oversight, as they took their good old sweet time alerting me that Rilo Kiley had released anything new, despite the fact that I have all of their albums, even the dreaded and hardly listened to Under The Blacklight, saved as personal playlists and have been listening to The Execution Of All Things and Take Offs And Landings through the service regularly since I first created my account. Damn you for keeping this from me for so long, Spotify.
rkives is the (mostly) perfect farewell to a band that I have long been very emotionally invested in. I say mostly because I firmly believe “Dejalo” should have never been released at all, and yet on rkives it is given an awful remix that I cannot turn off fast enough whenever it rolls around.
Since I have been listening to this album almost exclusively since I found out it existed, I thought it was only fitting to share some of my favorite tracks from it here.
“Let Me Back In” is an ode to Los Angeles and classic Rilo Kiley. It is sweet, nostalgic, and the essence of what Rilo Kiley has always had to offer.
“Emotional” — oh, this song. The first time I listened to rkives, I listened to it straight through. I didn’t give songs that immediately stood out to me a second listen until I let the album finish and stand on its own. I didn’t know that this song had such an effect on me until I found myself humming it several hours later. I dub “Emotional” the sneaky earworm.
There’s not a whole lot going on in “It’ll Get You There.” It is merely a song made up of lists, which Jenny Lewis has a habit of doing in her writing. I’m not knocking it. I still love this song, regardless of the lack of insight it takes to get the message of this song loud and clear. No fancy language needed.
All the trips that you take, they will get you there
All the little white pills you take, they will get you there
All the compliments that you take, they will get you there
All the hearts that you break, they will get you there