(Sony; August 2007)
If you haven’t yet heard of Josh Ritter, get ye to a store and foist your ears upon one of the best and brightest voices out there. Ritter is a true musical explorer, especially lyrically. His phrasingshe slams and off-rhymesare reminiscent of Dylan. The lyrics themselves are intelligent and unexpected andunlike what emanates from the torpid bulk of most of today’s singer/songwritershis songs carry little stink of self-absorption. Thoughtful, funny, and poignant, Historical Conquests brings to mind Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited. The album bubbles with the same fervent energy and raucousness that made visionaries like Dylan what they are today.