Ruthie Collins ‘Cold Comfort +’ Album Review

New York native Ruthie Collins began the Cold Comfort era back in 2019 with the release of the wistful leading track “Joshua Tree.” In 2020, she released the full LP Cold Comfort to critical acclaim. Now, she’s kicking off her 2022 with an extended version of the record with a new lead single, “Hypocrite,” and stripped-down, unplugged versions of pre-existing songs, giving them a new style and new life.

“Hypocrite” immediately catches the listener’s attention; it has a fuller, dramatic production right from the first second. It’s deeper, it’s fuller, and Collins, who typically demonstrates her vocals by having them float over the instrumental, grips onto the lyricism showing a new side of her through a raw, gritty vocal performance. 

When speaking of the track on Instagram, Collins stated, “This song was born in a 1970’s airstream trailer in my best friend’s driveway. This song was born in tears and heartache and puffed up chests and swearing you’re ok. This song is made of over three minutes or maybe three beautiful and tumultuous years of my life, all tucked away, safe and sound now, in this little song.”

“Hypocrite” was written by Collins alongside her friend and Runaway June member Natalie Stovall. Even though the noteworthy production can stand alone, the lyrics are just as entrancing as Collins gets vulnerable about embracing the hard to feel emotions. In the chorus, she exclaims, “So I say that I’m fine and I lie to everyone I see / Swear that I’ve made it through and losing you / Didn’t almost destroy me / But baby I’m your little hypocrite.” The track recently impacted country radio and there’s no doubt that it could be a major hit in 2022.

Ruthie Collins 'Cold Comfort +'

The last three additions to the expanded project are new renditions of previous songs Collins had released.  When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, she made her way back to her mom’s house in upstate New York. While there, she created “unplugged” versions of “Wish You Were Here,” “Joshua Tree,” and “Hey Little Girl.”

These delicate variations show Colllins’ ability to invent new sounds within her catalog. One of the most tragic numbers on Cold Comfort, “Wish You Were Here” was magically transformed into a more fragile, somber effort on the homemade edition. Collins sings over a banjo, a guitar, and soft, barely heard percussion. Her voice is striking as she admits to the painful reality, “She’s the one that got away, you can’t forget / But I won’t compete with a memory / And damn, you know what hurts? / Is I wish you were here / and you wish I was her.”

“Hey Little Girl (Unplugged)” is the perfect closer; it’s arguably the most noticeable out of the “unplugged” additions with stunning piano instrumentation and emotional vocals that beg you to pay attention and want more. 

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