November 12, 2007
Top Albums 2007--2--The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
I really liked Josh Ritter's "Animal Years" from last year. His song "Girl in the War" is still a favorite and one I worked up for guitar. And his rambling rant "Thin Blue Line" is simply gloriously angry. Other tracks on that album kind of fell away. Still a great album, but one that I don't listen to as much. (Of course, this annual best list always opens itself to the albums that don't last--but you can't tell that in a year. That is a different exercise--one where some people choose Bob Dylan posters for their desert island.) And, speaking of rambling songs, I love his acoustic version of "Golden Age of Radio."
But much of his stuff is heavily acoustic and folky (technical music term). So, when Ritter released The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, I pushed it to the back of the todo list. Not that I have anything against folky, but have been more in the mood for something with a bit more energy. But his album kept showing up on other people's best of the year, and so I finally broke down and bought it. The other reason I delayed my purchase was that I kept waiting for it to show up on Emusic. (Now that I bought it from Itunes, that means it will show up immediately.)
What an album. The variety of sounds--from almost choral background, to raucous horns and piano, to finger picking folk, to dissonance--this album has it all. Favorite tracks so far include "Open Doors," and "The Temptation of Adam." The "Right Moves" makes me a bit dancy (technical term) and "Still Beating" makes me sad. Like I said, the album has a little of everything.
I am really enjoying this album.