Wednesday, August 22, 2007

...and As the War Rages On, Only Time Will Tell

The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter - Josh Ritter

In Conquest there are many battles to be fought, much to be put to the line, much to be laid to waste. Wars are waged, a people or notion dominated and an empire defined. The landscape of modern music is vast and the armies are mighty and varied. The soundscape has many challengers that seek to rise with sword in hand and stake claim to the almighty right as victor of the war they have waged. Josh Ritter has waged a war and those they aim to have meet the sharp end of their blade are amongst the highest ranking in all the land.

Speculation has grown and the lore of Ritter runs deep. The scrimmages of Ritter and troops have been profound and noteworthy but it was in the year of our Lord 2006 that Ritter saw true prominence reach his namesake with The Animal Years, a brilliant and dazzling display of the mastery of the war craft. Rumblings spread as Ritter’s army readied for its inevitable next unleashing. How will he attack? What will he bring with him? Will anyone be able to stop him this time?

With the first swinging of the sword To the Dogs or Whoever it is more than evident that time taken off the battle field was time well spent and this army is as strong as ever, full of swagger and full of grit. As the battles unfold there is evidence that Ritter has taken note of the triumphs of his peers. Although he fights of the Ritter known he now brings with him the supporting cast of something much more in the lines of Spoon with a hint of Ryan Adams. Mind’s Eye, Open Doors and Real Long Distance are among Ritter’s finest displays to date and all show a powerful evolution in structure and execution. The crowning achievement of the new venture is Rumors, a stomping anthem of the rights of rock and the pleading for a woman to right a lost man’s way.

I put a whip to the kick drum but the music’s never loud enough.

Somber tells of soldiers lost and battles still raging are evident as well, for blood shed and loss make the heart grow weary and yearn for home. The Temptation of Adam speaks of the disgruntled solider who sees no future in the war at hand and fears for a time where he’ll be weak and tried in the midst of w w iii.

While the fighting is keen and the force unrelenting the endeavor runs long and some decisions remain in question for need. In all, Ritter’s army is ready to march and the likes of Wilco should keep keen eye; yet Brit Daniel and his men wear the crown still.

Rating – 8.2

Mind's Eye:

To the Dogs or Whoever:

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