On Disc: Josh Ritter

Album: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter by Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter
The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
Sony USA

4.5 stars

The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter is a highly advanced album.

Josh Ritter’s followup to last year’s The Animal Years does it all. It jumps, flips, jabs, prods, pokes and plunders the brain in ways you never thought possible. The one thing it does not do, is disappoint.

Ritter’s lyrics remain sharply honed, examining affairs both political and of the heart, from would-be-lovers in a bomb shelter at the world’s end in “The Temptation of Adam” to a Casanova riding bareback in the old west in “The Next to the Last Romantic.”

The album’s lyrical theme, love, sometimes tough for a genuinely nice guy, although it could be Ritter’s natural charm comes through in his songs.

Musically, things have never been weirder. It’s difficult to write on a specific point of comparison, not only because of the musical diversity, but because of the fresh perspective Ritter brings to all of those familiar classic rock and roll influences. The only thing that any of these tracks have in common is how different and entertaining they all are.

The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter will easily be one of your top musical purchases of 2007.

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