Everyday Albums of 2010, Josh Ritter, So Runs The World Away

Everyday Albums is a series of album reviews wherein the album could be listened to everyday. This series will examine the best of those from 2010.

If you’ve been paying attention to MKinMotion for anytime at all, this comes as no surprise: Josh Ritter is incredible…prepare for a string of superlatives. The last three albums he’s released The Animal Years in 2006, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter in 2007, and So Runs the World Away in 2010 make for a trilogy of stories that take you from the Old West, the world at war, and even ancient Egypt…plus his home state of Idaho.
The album kicks off with a quick little intro called “Curtains” and immediately introduces an amazing contribution to the ongoing catalog of amazing with “Change of Time.” Four chords repeated would suggest a simple song, but the imagery and tone take you through a string of emotions as the lyrics drift in and out of coherence.

“I was thirsty so I drank, and though it was salt water, there was something ’bout the way, it tasted so familiar.”

“The Curse” is a waltz ballad. The story of a mummy and a scientist. The only thing I can do to explain the beautiful tragedy is to force you to watch the video. Puppets!

If the waltzy soft nature of “The Curse” brought you down, you require a taste of “Lantern” and “The Remnant.” It’s impossible to not smile while listening to Lantern…impossible. And “The Remnant” shows that despite the dreamier tone to the opening tracks, Josh still has the ability to pound his foot on the wood floor. The images make me think of a John Hillcoat film…”The Road” or “The Proposition”, take your pick.

I love “Orbital.” There’s a lot going on in this one. Lots of music happening and lots of images of things running around each other. Ritter is good at drawing pictures through the words and music in a way that always garners comparisons to Springsteen and Dylan.

“The ghost around the thing it haunts, the want around the thing that wants, the way the mind just wanders off and then returns to the thought around the second thought. Love or gravity or law? Whatever name it’s got, it’s got me…circling around you.”

Buy So Runs the World Away, and if you haven’t yet, pick up the other two albums mentioned The Animal Years and The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. You will not regret it.

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