Josh Ritter
So Runs The World Away


3.5
great

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
April 28th, 2010 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Just the expected continuation of his unpredictable course

Josh Ritter has yet to fail in any course he has taken with his albums. Filled with well-informed perspectives on life, and even humorous, 2001’s Golden Age of Radio and 2003’s Hello Staring, both equally accredited with the Idaho-born songwriter’s rise to fame – most notably in Ireland – are just as memorable as the more serious, bare-bones intimacy of 2006’s Animal Years and the biblical and historical recall that was 2007’s acclaimed and experimental The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. His success is not found in his skill with winding a concept-based album – in fact, he’s notorious for being all over the place on his outings; no, the key to Ritter’s successes are founded in his skill for modernizing the direct folk approaches of Bob Dylan, even bringing such influences like Townes Van Zandt deftly to the present day.

And as trademark Ritter, So Runs The World Away is all over the place, though more so lyrically than instrumentally. When compared to his last outing, Josh Ritter is certainly more intimate and contained in this new album, and songs like first-proper track “Change of Time” and “Lock” even return to the acoustic foundation of his Animal Years; the prior introspects between the slowly adjustment and changing of a relationship, with Ritter bringing his knack for memorable lines to bare: ‘I was thirsty so I took a drink / and though it was salt water / there was something about the way it tasted so familiar/ . . . it’s only a change of time, love.’ Ritter visits such varying topics as the fake death of a man in efforts to find his lover in piano ballad “The Curse”, following the death of a young lady in the gospel-flavored “Folk Bloodbath” – even featuring choir-like angelic vocals – and alluding to Christopher Columbus’ voyage across the Atlantic in seven-minute “Another New World”.

The places were Josh Ritter slips up, oddly enough, are the places where he tries to get too experimental, in doing so showing just how dependant he is on his up-front, intimate deliveries. The drum-led “Rattling Locks” takes Ritter’s vocals outside of his more favorable honey-dipped intimacy position for a sort of podium smack-talk to an empty-eyed soul. Likewise, “The Remnant” also takes Ritter out of his vocal comfort position – once again, he is placed in the awkward role of being the aggressor as well – trading his more favorable acoustic-jingle-piano backings for a stomping drum and repetitive piano note. These moments are few and far in between, however - both being sandwiched between stellar songs such as the airy guitar “How Man Was Made” and the poppy summer-hit “Southern Pacifica" - and the remainder of the songs flow rather smoothly in and of themselves on So Runs The World Away.

So Runs The World Away is another strong collection of songs for Josh Ritter, showcasing just how well he can hold everything together when, in theory, it should really just be falling apart. He’s been doing this type of thing for a while, changing from album to album, and this is just the expected continuation of his unpredictable course.



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user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
April 28th 2010


5819 Comments


stream: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126173168

Mx (admin) likes this guy, so since no one was down for this I figured I'd try it

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

Foxhound
April 29th 2010


4570 Comments


This definitely sounds interesting.

Foxhound
April 29th 2010


4570 Comments


Also, chill album cover.

Ponton
Emeritus
April 29th 2010


5819 Comments


Yeah, its really great stuff. He doesn't seem to be the biggest thing on sputnik though. His prior albums all have a great rating distribution

Ponton
Emeritus
April 30th 2010


5819 Comments


Thanks mj

I'd like to get a spot when promotions come around, but if I don't it's all good.

Romulus
April 30th 2010


8447 Comments


Great review, I think I might check this out

Ponton
Emeritus
April 30th 2010


5819 Comments


Thanks rom

it's really solid all the way through, and catchy too

thebhoy
Emeritus
May 6th 2010


4461 Comments


hmm I was going to review this for the upcoming release date, forgot you had done it already. Still might do it, I don't think I like this as much as you. After the first few tracks it all gets a little mehhh

Ponton
Emeritus
May 6th 2010


5819 Comments


Cool, it's up to you but second opinions are always great



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