Leigh MichaelTuesday,8 January 2013

The Snap:

Listen to Joy To You Baby, the first song off Josh Ritter’s new album. The Beast in Its Tracks, which comes out 5 March, is a veritable kaleidoscope of emotions that Ritter went through after splitting up with his wife.

On his website, Ritter explains that the songs that make up his album “felt like rocks in the shoe, hard little nuggets of whatever they were, be it spite, remorse, or happiness.” Something to keep in mind when The Beast in Its Tracks debuts, perhaps.

This will be Ritter’s seventh album. So Runs the World Away, released in 2010, was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews.

The Download:

I like Josh Ritter. And not just as a singer — the guy just has this demeanor that makes him seem like the type of person you’d like to be friends with. If you need proof, check out the teaser he recently released for The Beast in Its Tracks, which is a veritable bundle of small-town goodness. He has an oil lamp in his house and a romping pup in the backyard, for goodness sakes!

But it’s this personality that seeps into his songs: and I have a feeling that that’s what his fanbase loves about him so much. He is a storyteller, creating a narrative within each song that sticks with you long after the track has ended.

(He is also quite literally a storyteller – Ritter released his first novel, Bright’s Passage, in 2011.)

I’ll be totally honest. I was far from bowled over by “Joy To You Baby.” It seemed a little… halfhearted. After the sweeping sagas that Ritter has led his listeners through (To the Dogs Or Whoever, anyone?), this song sort of fails to grab me.

I’m not giving up on the album – I have a feeling that anything Ritter creates will be great. But, at risk of sounding completely insensitive, I really hope it isn’t an hour of forlorn heartbreak put into song.

Hat Tips:

SoundCloud, Josh Ritter, Amazon, Youtube, Image Credit: Flickr

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