This Josh Ritter article was written by Hannah Stevenson, a Gigsoup. contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson.
There’s a familiar, classic feel to this lively and invigorating album, which is the eighth full-length studio release for Ritter and was allegedly recorded in just two weeks.
The opening track, ‘Birds of the Meadow’, is catchy and infectious, as is the melodic and soulful ‘Where the Night Goes’. The witty and rhythmic lyrics have an iconic feel about them and are well complimented by jazzy piano that defines the musical contribution.
The piano is supported by bouncy drums and guitar playing, which combine to create some highly danceable tracks, such as ‘Young Moses’, a track full of musical interludes that serve to enhance, as opposed to simply prolonging it. In addition, the musical introduction to ‘Homecoming’ is simply not to be missed- soulful and inviting, it is the perfect lead up to a song can only be truly summarised in one word: stunning.
Many of the tracks, such as ‘Getting Ready to Get Down’, draw on classic American country images for their narrative. With Missouri pastors and bible colleges featuring heavily in this slightly repetitive song ‘Getting Ready to Get Down’ can be essentially summed up by its title. There are, however, some intelligent and succinct lyrics hidden away in the album, such as the deep and prophetic ‘Henrietta, Indiana’, which also relies heavily on country imagery but manages to retain a narrative that is both interesting and in keeping with its drum based musical accompaniment.
Overall this is a strong, well-defined album that benefits from Ritter’s lyrical talent and soulful singing. Memorable, catchy and musically accomplished, this album is a classic of our time and well worth listening to.
‘Sermon on the Rocks’ is available now via Pytheas Recordings