The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, despite its lofty title, does not come with a four-paneled foldout map with a bejeweled compass rose, nor does it feature the art of Roger Dean or the keyboard theatrics of Rick Wakeman. Instead, Ritter's fifth foray into full-length album land is loaded with walls of electric guitars, waves of brass, ebbing tides of strings, and enough colorful analogies both historical and biblical to ignite a thousand cigars and refill an equally impressive number of brandy snifters. Listeners looking for a sequel to 2006's beautiful, bittersweet, contemplative (and primarily acoustic) Animal Years will either need to board another ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, despite its lofty title, does not come with a four-paneled foldout map with a bejeweled compass rose, nor does it feature the art of Roger Dean or the keyboard theatrics of Rick Wakeman. Instead, Ritter's fifth foray into full-length album land is loaded with walls of electric guitars, waves of brass, ebbing tides of strings, and enough colorful analogies both historical and biblical to ignite a thousand cigars and refill an equally impressive number of brandy snifters. Listeners looking for a sequel to 2006's beautiful, bittersweet, contemplative (and primarily acoustic) Animal Years will either need to board another train or realign their senses, as Ritter has made the rowdiest record of his career. On first listen, the Idaho-born singer/songwriter's Historical Conquests are a dense bunch, both lyrically and musically, but further spins reveal a carousel of folk-rock splendor that echoes everyone from Springsteen to Ron Sexsmith to Summerteeth-era Wilco. Opener "To the Dogs or Whoever," with its motor-mouthed emissions of love cloaked in the mythology of Joan of Arc, rants and raves for a mere three minutes, but by the time he catches his breath on the last refrain of "I thought I heard somebody calling in the dark," it's hard not to feel like you've spent the whole time in the "belly of that whale" with him. Things don't slow down from there, with the Spoon-inspired rocker "Mind's Eye" and the "roll the credits" crowd-pleaser "Right Moves" providing a one-two punch that makes the gorgeous "Temptation of Adam," with its elegiac horn arrangement and apocalyptic backdrop, a welcome respite. It's diverse for sure, but the melodies are born of familiar glue. "Heart Still Beating" and "Wait for Love" will please fans of the last record and the Johnny Cash freight-train rumble of "Next to the Last Romantic" will light up even the most solemn heartland drive home, but they revel in the "hummable" Tin Pan Alley warmth of Hank Williams and early Tom Waits. Historical Conquests is above all a fun record. It's got all of the heartache, acute observation, and crushing truth that fans are used to, but it never preaches without a wink and, most importantly, sounds as good blisteringly loud as it does drifting out of a clock radio in the garage.
Entertainment Weekly - Leah Greenblatt
... a sprawling diorama of down-home rhythms and thoughtful lyrics... [A-]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/21/2007
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 886971225624
  • Catalog Number: 712256
  • Sales rank: 15,133

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 To the Dogs or Whoever (3:02)
  2. 2 Mind's Eye (2:53)
  3. 3 Right Moves (3:44)
  4. 4 The Temptation of Adam (4:12)
  5. 5 Open Doors (2:35)
  6. 6 Rumors (3:31)
  7. 7 Edge of the World (1:41)
  8. 8 Wait for Love (3:46)
  9. 9 Real Long Distance (2:42)
  10. 10 Next to the Last Romantic (2:49)
  11. 11 Moons (0:51)
  12. 12 Still Beating (3:49)
  13. 13 Empty Hearts (4:40)
  14. 14 Wait for Love (You Know You Will) (2:37)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Josh Ritter Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Liam Hurley Percussion, Drums
Sam Kassirer Organ, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Electric Piano, Vibes
Zack Hickman Acoustic Guitar, Trombone, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, Double Bass, Lap Steel Guitar, Guitar (Baritone)
Douglas Rice Background Vocals
Matt Duglas Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Kristen Smith Engineer
Jeff Lipton Mastering
Josh Ritter Composer
Jessica Thompson Mastering
Sam Kassirer Producer, Engineer, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements, String Writing
Zack Hickman Horn Arrangements
Douglas Rice Contributor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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