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So Runs the World Away

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iTunes Review

Josh Ritter creates music that falls through the cracks. It defies easy categorization; it dances to its own beat; it sounds like folk music that is haunted by its own particular ghosts. The Idaho-born songwriter explores many deep concepts on his fifth studio album, writing a novel tentatively titled Bright’s Passage while completing this album. “The Curse” was the song that formed the record, focusing on a Victorian archaeologist that led Ritter to seek more information about science and, specifically Newton and his concept of gravity and beyond. One need not be versed in the sciences to enjoy the murder- ballad destiny of “Folk Bloodbath” or the casual bounce of “Lark.” These are tunes still built on the belief that a well-spoken vocal and a gentle ensemble performance can cut through to the heart. “Another New World” spreads out over seven minutes with a great swell of dynamics supporting this tale to nowhere that evokes Donovan in his search for Atlantis.

Customer Reviews

top 5 albums of 2010

I'd rate this as one of the best records of 2010 -with such brilliant and diverse sonic and lyrical landscapes, it's a real genius work. Here's my list of top 5 records of 2010:

1. Josh Ritter - So Runs the World Away
2. Richard McGraw - Burying the Dead
3. Joanna Newsome- Have One on Me
4. Bonnie Prince - The Wonder Show of the World
5. Edward Sharpe - Up from Below (even though it was releaste in 2009)

Album of the Year

Top to bottom, the best album I've heard released this year. There's really not a bad (or even less-than-awesome) song on it.

So Runs the World Away reminds me most of Animal Years rather than the more recent Historical Conquests, though this new album certainly breaks ground into new territory. The lyricism is brilliant/witty/haunting/poignant/exceptional as always and holds up well against Josh's best writing (Thin Blue Flame, Girl in the War, Kathleen, so many more...)

The album is certainly more mellow than Historical Conquests, though there are a couple of excellent rockers (Orbital, Lantern). If I have to pick, the highlights among highlights are The Curse, Rattling Locks, Another New World, Change of Time. I feel very confident this album is going to get better with repeat listens.

Honestly, though, in an age of downloading one "hit single" or a couple of songs by an artist, So Runs the World Away is a true album that should be listened to as a whole. So get the album, get your beverage of choice, sit down in front of your stereo/computer/Ipod and prepare for 50 some minutes of bliss.

Change of Pace

This album isn't what I expected after the Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. While that album was rowdy and energetic, he returned to form with another softer album. I was initially let down (bought it on vinyl three weeks ago) but his lyrics are the best he's written. If nothing else, buy this for the lyrics.


Born: 1976 in Moscow, Idaho

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

An American singer/songwriter with a strong voice, a keen wit, and an evocative way with words, Josh Ritter has built a loyal following as one of the leading lights on the contemporary folk scene. Born in Idaho, Ritter bought his first guitar after hearing the Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash classic "The Girl from the North Country." While attending college in Oberlin, Ohio, Ritter got his first taste of the music of Leonard Cohen and Gillian Welch; he instantly fell in love with their songs and dropped...
Full Bio