Release Date: Aug 21, 2007
Record label: Sony
Genre(s): Rock, Folk
In the modern hierarchy of Dylan/Springsteen acolytes, 30-year-old Josh Ritter stands surprisingly tall. The Idaho native has made an almost stealthy ascent, releasing several fine folk-pop CDs over the past five years. His latest, The Historical Conquests of…, a sprawling diorama of down-home rhythms and thoughtful lyrics, isn’t immediately striking.
Review Summary: Is it Bob Dylan? Is it Bruce Springsteen? No, it's .... Josh Ritter?Music, like fashion, moves in cycles. Every new fad, every new thrill, is built firmly on the bones and ashes of its predecessors. Hence we have styles like ska and flared jeans making their triumphant return in the mid 90s after dying spectacular deaths 30 years earlier.
Idaho native Josh Ritter's fifth LP illustrates how well an artist can incorporate his influences while developing his own voice and sound, which in this incarnation is part Dylan, part sensitive swinger with a soft spot for Calamity Jane and Joan of Arc ("To the Dogs or Whoever"). Where "Mind's Eye" smokes and smolders seductively, honoring Ritter's inner horn dog, "Right Moves" weds Seventies FM radio with the pastoral romanticism of Hello Starling in 2003. Conquests is far more rock-oriented than 2006's lush The Animal Years, yet its being recorded in an 18th century Maine farmhouse tethers it aesthetically to Nebraska-era Springsteen.