Josh Ritter’s new album has been streaming on NPR since April 26. I don’t usually (like almost ever) bother with streaming music, but for Ritter I made an exception because the man hasn’t let me down since . . . Well, since ever. His albums are always amazing. And I’ve been hearing a few cuts off the new one from live boots (see below) for about a year now, and I could tell he’s moving even further into the anthemic zone, away from the rootsy folk and hewing close to the “big sound” he used on his amazing “Historical Conquests” album (the 4th best record of 2007). Not a big surprise–same band, same producer (Sam Kassirer).
The main difference between that album and So Runs the World Away is that this new one has consistency. Whether it’s in the slow ballads or the pop anthems (“Lantern” and “Lark” are standouts), there’s an overall feel here. He’s still primarily a storyteller, but this is a true “album.” It’s got a sound and a message. It shows his meteoric growth as a songwriter and composer.
And it’s not to be missed.
This will easily be on a bunch of best of the year lists. Including mine.
Here’s some live ones from the new release:
And a few choice covers (not off new one):
Rumors/Obla Di Obla Da (Beatles)