Re: Is everything before the destruction of the kelvin exactly the sam
True, but why not take what Spock said in XI at face value and accept the Kelvin design and aesthetic is a retcon as well?
Because, as I said, there are other elements in the film that don't perfectly fit, unless you interpret them as retconning TOS itself. Once that degree of retconning is occurring, it's better described as a reboot.
Spock's exposition isn't encountered in the film until after the evidence of a reboot is already water under the bridge.
“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP” — Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)