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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on April 7, 2013
The story of Rilo Kiley is not an unfamiliar one. Indie band gain cult following, slowly growing and their music gets put on shows like The OC etc and they get signed to a major label, release one album aimed at the mainstream, which fails and then they cease to be. This is their archive (get it?) material..17 tracks (one hidden) most unreleased. Most of it is very good indeed. They span their entire career and hangs together very well indeed.

Rilo Kiley are a slightly quirky indie band with Jenny Lewis' voice being an absolute marvel at every turn. Songs like It'll Get You There, A Town Called Luckey, Patiently and The Frug are as good as anything they have released. They are rocky indie pop songs with the occasional nod to a country twang. Lewis' often portrays characters in post breakup mould and there are a lot of songs here that you could feel yourself loving if you were trying to come to terms with that situation.

As a compilation is a great one. Equal to any of the albums (certainly better than Under The BlackLight). Does it have its weak tracks? Yes - the remix of Dejalo is not very good and American Wife a bit too twee. But overall this doesn't detract from a great set of songs and a band that was loved deeply by its fan base and is missed.
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on April 9, 2013
Rilo Kiley's best songs have always revealed themselves on repeated listenings, and the material on RKIVES is no exception. Most fans are already familiar with some of these tunes--the fine choice of a single "Let Me Back In" (previously the frequent show-closer "I Love LA") is presented here in a subtly orchestrated version and adorned by a typically drop-dead performance by the resplendent Ms Lewis, but a handful of others known primarily from heaven-sent YouTube uploads--the irresistibly propulsive "Patiently", the hard-edged "Emotional", the hyper-dramatic "Town Called Lucky" and "The Frug", one of the two great bratty-girl anthems that typify early Jenny along with the (maybe not so) curiously absent "Glendora". (There are glaring omissions enough to fill an RKIVES VOL.2--"Big Break", "Someone Else's Clothes", "Dead Cat", "85", "Xmas Cake"...c'mon, guys..)
The real pleasure comes with the previously unheard tracks which after a few times through seem to fit snugly in the RK canon. Hints of things to come abound, as with Jenny's languorous "Draggin' Around", which seems to foretell ACID TONGUE's "Sing A Song For Them", and the enchanting "About The Moon", abetted by the Watson Twins, predicts RFC's "Happy". Even the pedal-steel embellished "Bury, Bury, Bury Another" could be heard as a lightweight "More Adventurous". My favorite track might be "I Remember You", Jenny's duet with Benji Hughes, which reminds me of nothing so much as her delightful live star turn with Belle and Sebastian on "Lazy Line Painter Jane". What's most remarkable is how fresh yet familiar this all seems. In their day, Rilo Kiley certainly occupied a unique niche in the pop universe, carving out a peculiar musical architecture defined by aural landscapes that allowed for some wild stylistic variations, and this collection can stand with their best work. There's really been no one like 'em, before or since. And who but Jenny Lewis could write a line about "the certainty of sickness and sleep"? (Why isn't this lady a superstar already?)
Just don't call her Laura. Her name is not Laura.
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on July 6, 2015
Suffers from the two most common maladies affecting compilations of rarities, b-sides, and unreleased albums: One, it doesn't hang together the way good albums do, with proper sequencing and attention to variety between adjacent tracks; and two, none of the songs are really top drawer material for RK. Yes, there is a reason these songs didn't make it onto an album: they are almost good (except "Dejalo" which is just bad)... but in the end they all lack something. They have only half or 3/4 of what makes a great RK song. And an album without the requisite number of "hits" just falls flat.
The song that appeals to me most is a lightweight, insouciant ditty, "The Frug." Two minutes and forty seconds. The song that's been downloaded the most, "I Remember You," is catchy enough but it wouldn't be a top song on a real RK album. A good second tier song. Unfortunately, a lot of the material whiny and musically repetitive and then fails to deliver the punch.
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on June 25, 2013
When I first met this band was back in 2008 when I ran into "Under the blacklight". So, I felt in love with this álbum and from there on. I bought their three previous records and what I found was the sound of magic and love for the simple pleasure of making music. When I realized they splited I was kind of sad because I was looking forward for them to make greater and better music. So, I got excited when I found out about this b-sides and rarities récord from them that I decided to get it last week and yesterday it arrived home.

I can honestly say that Rilo Kiley had great ideas and tunes to share with the people and the music community that this album doesn't even sound as a b-side/rarities compilation at all! It has so many great songs that you can't understand why they never realesed them as A-sides. I personally must admit that the song "All the drugs" was the one I immediatly felt in love with. that honestly can't be a b-side but more like an A-side they forgot somewhere. On the other hand, I've never imagined listening to a Rilo Kiley in "heavy rock" mode but that was exactly what happened with "A town called Lucky"... great performance of Jenny Lewis there and "Emotional" seems to be another rocker approach that the band had back then when that song was recorded.

All in all, this record is meant for fans of the band and non-fans as well cause since "Rkives" have great tracks anyone could like it. FYI, the pictures of Jenny Lewis in the booklet are great. She is such a talented and beautiful singer:)
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on April 12, 2013
I love Rilo Kiley dearly, and it pains me that they've been apart for so long. This collection of bsides doesnt show what they are or were capable of. Yes you get some great Jenny Lewis vocals- but at the cost of bad song lyrics or uninspiring music. Yes i know b-sides dont usually carry a theme, but this collection doesnt even show progression throughout their career. Its a mish mash of rehashed (frug), forgettable (all the drugs), or down right stupid (dejalo remix?! really?!)tracks. This shows me that they have no strong desire to get back together.
Despite the rant, they're some good songs on here ('well, you left' & ' i remember you')- yet majority I already have. For RK fans only.
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on April 17, 2013
Wow, this is archival material? It's a shame that this band has not recorded and issued an album of new material since Under The Blacklight. This CD is flat out fantastic! If you liked Rilo Kiley in the past and you're sitting on the fence about purchasing this CD you have nothing to fear. RKives is a compilation of superior songs and amazing musicianship. Don't delay and pick up this CD. You won't regret it.
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on December 3, 2013
This is my favorite record of 2013. Rilo Kiley had a run as one of the great bands of the 2000s and this could be the best thing they ever did. It's hard to believe that songs like "Runnin' Around" and "It'll Get You There" were outtakes. They're better than most bands greatest hits.
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on April 15, 2013
On the first listen I liked this record, and probably would have given it three stars. But the more I listen to it - and I've listened to it almost every day since its release - I've come to realize that the material that has been sitting in Rilo Kiley's archive is superior to most bands' best efforts.
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on September 8, 2014
most of this cd is gold.....however, i didn't like 6 songs.
i list the ones i didnt like and why.

running around- theres nothing catchy about this song. very generic to me.
well you left- what can i say..never really liked blake
i remember you- would have been nice if it was just jenny but the other guy's vocals are horrible.
dejalo- lol this is good for a laugh and thats it.
american wife- sounds like she is singing into a broken microphone.dont even understand her at times.
the frug- heard this song a million times...its annoying to me now.
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on April 11, 2013
Oh, Jenny Lewis. I love your solo career, but damn I'm going to miss you with Rilo Kiley. This album of b-sides and rarities proves that your band was too short for this world and will be sorely missed. "Let Me Back In", "Draggin' Around" and "I Remember You" are perfect examples of wonderful tracks that we'll never hear again.
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