Josh Ritter: The Animal Years

Peter said to Paul, “You know all those words we wrote/are just the rules of the game and the rules are the first to go”

So opens the sublime first track on Josh Ritter’s fourth LP The Animal Years. This line encapsulates what exactly gives Josh Ritter his sound. While the Idaho native hasn’t necessarily broken all the rules of the singer/songwriter stereotype, he’s done a pretty standup job of at least stretching them a bit, mulling over a range of topics along the way including religion, love and death.

The Animal Years is a cohesive body of work from a clearly talented writer and musician with a voice that adds a hazy finish to the whole package, making this just the type of album that could easily stay in the car stereo from the afternoon right through the late night.

As for the breaking the rules part, Ritter reaches out to some new instrumentation (pianos, organs) on this album to fill out his acoustic guitar based sound. In this regard, songs such as “Thin Blue Flame”, “Good Man,” and the aforementioned “Girl In The War” are standouts, both concise and sprawling, while remaining hooky and memorable. The Animal Yearsis a great listen, with little to no filler and a lingering feeling that makes you wonder where those forty-nine minutes snuck off to.

Related Content

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide