Alt-Country rocker Ruston Kelly is back with his third album The Weakness. The album finds Kelly at a crossroads in his life having just moved from Nashville to the small town of Portland, Tennessee. It also features the first track ("Let Only Love Remain") that represents the first song about the dissolution of his marriage. “In the end my divorce taught me more than it wounded me,” stated Kelly. “I didn’t want to make a divorce record, but it was important to me to say what I needed to say while also making sure to protect her heart.” "Let Love Remain" is an absolute heartbreaker that stands out on the album and is pinnacle Kelly.
The result of The Weakness is absolutely not a divorce record, but rather a record chock full of emotions and grittiness that we've come to know and love from Kelly's sound. There are other moments on the album, such as on "Michael Keaton" where Kelly muses about stoned thoughts he's had at 3 a.m. about Michael Keaton in Multiplicity. The album also offers up songs like "Dive" which represents a beautiful reprise and change of pace for the album that sets the stage for the second half of the record.
What remains is that Kelly's signature vocal style is so distinct it's great to hear him effortlessly bounce between lows and highs on this record. In addition, The Weakness has done a great job of bringing in a more expansive soundscape to match his dynamic vocalization. For those that are new to Kelly's work, you should enjoy this one. For those familiar with his work, there's a lot to love here along with some new tricks that he shows off on the record. Needless to say, there's a lot to love here.
Rating - 4.5/5