Album Review :
Ruth - Payola

By in Reviews | Comments closed

Artist: Ruth

Album: Payola

Record Label: MTV/Hype Music

Release Date: March 6, 2012

Tracklisting:

  1. You’ve Changed
  2. Darling Why
  3. Life is Just a Dream
  4. Love and Craigslist
  5. Want To Be Alone
  6. My One and Only
  7. Summer Fire

This EP is exactly what longtime Ruth fans have been waiting for and what will make tons of people into new Ruth fans. Hailing from Battle Ground, Washington the band has previously released two albums on Tooth & Nail and digitally released an album of cover songs. Then they seemed to virtually drop off the planet as a band. Lead singer, Dustin Ruth, released a solo project during the band’s hiatus and it was rumored that they played the occasional show here and there in the northwest but hope was fading that the band would release another album.

Just when all hope was almost gone the boys of Ruth released Payola, coming back to prove that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The EP is this lovely balance of rock and whimsy. The album kicks off with a couple of high energy tracks that bring in some gang vocals, keyboard and that signature Ruth sound. The third track, “Life is Just a Dream” begs, “Someone save me/I’m tired of living with my eyes half closed/I can’t help it all because nobody knows where I am going/I only know where I’ve been/And I’ll take it on the chin” really showcasing the heart of the band. It’s a song that calls one to live life to the fullest, not just go through motions. The tracks pick back up for the lighthearted “Love and Craigslist” and the driving “Want to Be Alone.”

“Summer Fire” wins title of favorite track in my opinion. It has an ethereal quality to it musically and lyrically. It feels light and simple but there is an underlying heaviness, an unspoken dichotomy that creates beauty. My only complaint is that Payola is too short. I would have loved a couple more songs, especially after such a long wait, but I guess I will take what I can get.