Josh Ritter: The Animal Years (2006)


JOSH RITTER
THE ANIMAL YEARS; 2006
V2 RECORDS
MY RATING 91/100
What can I say about this that Stephen King hasn’t already? THE ANIMAL YEARS proves once and for all that Josh Ritter is a monumental talent of the folk-rock art. I dare you to find a rotten track herein. While GOLDEN AGE OF RADIO and HELLO STARLING both had their moments, you know this is an altogether grander affair from the opening mandolin notes of “Girl in the War.” Ritter’s themes are transcendent with melodies to match, and Brian Deck’s production surrounds his songs in heavenly halo of sound. “Monster Ballads” is a transportingly exquisite driving song, while “Good Man” ranks among the best “let’s stay together” songs in the history of pop. Rounding all of it out with the joyfully propulsive (“Wolves”) and the mystically visceral (“Thin Blue Flame”), this is the type of record that any fan of Dylan, Van Morrison, or Wilco should have in constant rotation. My only complaint is that it’s not longer.
TRACKS
1. Girl in the War (5/5)
2. Wolves (5/5)
3. Monster Ballads (5/5)
4. Lillian, Egypt (5/5)
5. Idaho (4/5)
6. In the Dark (5/5)
7. One More Mouth (5/5)
8. Good Man (5/5)
9. Best for the Best (5/5)
10. Thin Blue Flame (5/5)
11. Here at the Right Time (5/5)

Josh-ritter-animal-yearsJosh Ritter
The Animal Years; 2006
V2 Records

My Rating: 91/100

What can I say about this that Stephen King hasn’t already? THE ANIMAL YEARS proves once and for all that Josh Ritter is a monumental talent of the folk-rock art. I dare you to find a rotten track herein. While GOLDEN AGE OF RADIO and HELLO STARLING both had their moments, you know this is an altogether grander affair from the opening mandolin notes of “Girl in the War.” Ritter’s themes are transcendent with melodies to match, and Brian Deck’s production surrounds his songs in heavenly halos of sound. “Monster Ballads” is a transportingly exquisite driving song, while “Good Man” ranks among the best “let’s stay together” songs in the history of pop. Rounding all of it out with the joyfully propulsive (“Wolves”, “Lillian, Egypt”) and the mystically visceral (“Thin Blue Flame”, “Idaho”), this is the type of record that any fan of Dylan, Van Morrison, or Wilco should have in constant rotation. My only complaint is that it’s not longer. A classic album of the early 21st century.

TRACKS

1. Girl in the War (5/5)
2. Wolves (5/5)
3. Monster Ballads (5/5)
4. Lillian, Egypt (5/5)
5. Idaho (4/5)
6. In the Dark (5/5)
7. One More Mouth (5/5)
8. Good Man (5/5)
9. Best for the Best (5/5)
10. Thin Blue Flame (5/5)
11. Here at the Right Time (5/5)

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2 Responses to Josh Ritter: The Animal Years (2006)

  1. Pingback: August 13, 2009 « Sweet Georgia Breezes

  2. Pingback: LP Review: The Animal Years by Josh Ritter « Sweet Georgia Breezes

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