\ Hip Displeasure: Hip-D Top 20 of 2006 » #8 » Josh Ritter - "The Animal Years"

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Hip-D Top 20 of 2006 » #8 » Josh Ritter - "The Animal Years"

I admit it, I am a folkie whore. Even worse than that, I am a male singer/songwriter whore. Yes, if there's a penis and guitar involved, I will most likely dig it. Furthermore, if I'm at a show featuring a penis and guitar, I will most likely rush the stage and dry hump them. It's an endearing quirk of mine. So, when I heard Josh Ritter was putting out a new disc in 2006, I knew I would buy it without hearing a single note. I also knew I would once again become a sucker. See, while I've always liked Josh Ritter, he has previously been rather standard guy and guitar material for me. I ate it up while it was playing, but often forgot it was there if it wasn't in front of me begging for my panties.

With The Animal Years, Josh Ritter has risen from the (very full) grave of listened-to-once singer/songwriters my CD collection houses, to beyond the pearly gates where my most beloved penises and guitars happily frolic every tear-stained day. Lyrically, Ritter has become much more of a storyteller. Statements are made, but in the same, unassuming, simple voice Ritter fans are used to. Each song has subtle undertones of musical growth and arrangements, broadening his folk/Americana background, but never abandoning it; something not heard in his previous discs. Even the nearly ten-minute song "Thin Blue Flame," which builds and falls and builds, is beautifully understated. It is his centerpiece, yet doesn't feel as though it's 9+ minutes at all. If this is the beginning of a new, more ambitious Josh Ritter, he may just become King of the Penises and Guitars.

-- stacey

stacey's Favorite Track: "Girl in the War"

This album appeared on the following staffers's lists:

  • stacey (#1)
  • Patrick (#1)


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