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Capping a decades worth of critically-praised albums, NY-based singer/songwriter Josh Ritters upcoming May 4 album -- and yearlong effort -- So Runs the World Away is the highly anticipated successor to his 07 release The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, an album Q called a "triumph". While many of his contemporaries bog down in earnest bouts of navel-gazing and grandiose self-importance, Ritter has distinguished his repertoire with both a light touch and an appreciation of the power of positive pop energy: songs that move, dramatically, in every sense of the word. The tone is often sharp and pointed, melodies and lyrics honed down to brilliant, shining edge.

New song "Change of Time" is a promising peak at Ritters World to come: a Dylanish folk melody that builds and morphs into a stunning anthem of impressive scope. Each subsequent Ritter album has marked an evolution in sound, a gradual expansion of production styles that manage to be both finely focused and remarkably, effortlessly loose -- and our expectations are high that World will as well. "Im proud of the fact that Ive never recorded a song for a record that I didnt believe in absolutely," says Ritter, "and that didnt feel, in its writing, recording, and performance, like a moment of real inspiration." He adds, "I love the songs on this record so much." Were expecting we will, too.

  • Rock/Pop

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