“I’ve seen her around now with someone new I don’t know, She likes green-eyed boys that are haloed in hope, but I know the look in his eyes and I know all the old signs, just a couple of curves before his own road unwinds.”
Josh Ritter just released The Beast In Its Tracks, an album that captures the period of his divorce from Dawn Landes with devastating clarity, paucity, and most importantly, empathy. As a man who whittled his own path out of Oberlin with a self-created major in “American History Through Narrative Folk Music”, Ritter has managed to avoid the usual depression and one-sidedness of most break-up albums, and his usual lyrical fireworks, more spare this time around, are still on display. Take “Hopeful” the fourth track on the album, which juxtaposes his own stark admissions with his ex-partner’s silver lining. Most impressive is the nods to music that came before him, with shades of Paul Simon’s verbose diary narratives, a touch of Lennon melodic hooks and an arrangement that would fit perfectly with Elliot Smith’s XO.
Go pick up a copy of The Beast In Its Tracks today: