On "Run to Ruin," Nina Nastasia neither abandons nor expands upon the sparsely stylized melancholia that defined her previous two albums. Rather, the tone is a nuanced finalizing of the emotionally draining sound she's defined as her own. Though Nastasia is often compared to Chan Marshall and Lisa Germano, her misery is simultaneously more glazed and harsh. Subtle to the point of nonexistence, Nastasia's tension-clutched acoustic guitar is crowded out by evocative string and piano parts, but her downcast and whispering singing merges seamlessly into the sonic blend. Nearly liturgical in parts ("I Say That I Will Go" is little more than a hushed death march), "Run to Ruin" is defined by an emotional forcefulness that's inescapable.
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