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So Runs the World Away

  • Josh Ritter
  • Pytheas/ Red Eye

The literate American musician Josh Ritter has long (and not undeservedly) been the darling of National Public Radio, Paste Magazine and the Irish. And now the rest of the world will take notice, for the star-watching singer-songwriter has pushed the art of folk music forward. Ritter's fluid, aurally eventful fifth album contains a pair of tracks that are page-turning short stories with trick-of-the-tale endings - fully formed movies, really. The Curse is a piano-waltzed romantic comedy about King Tut, while the twinkling, Poe-inspired Another New World sails to a maritime metaphor. I hear bits of Paul Simon and Bruce Cockburn, and See How Man Was Made may be a shimmering response to Neil Young's A Man Needs a Maid. But, really, Ritter, an ambitious phrase-turner, stands singularly here.

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