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The Animal Years

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (49 ratings)

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The Animal Years album cover
Girl In The War
Monster Ballads
Lillian, Egypt
In The Dark
One More Mouth
Good Man
Best For The Best
Thin Blue Flame
Here At The Right Time
Album Information

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 49:22

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Josh Ritter


I first listened to Mr Ritter on the Jonny Walker Show on BBC Radio 2 around 2 years ago. Hooked ever since, nearly as good as Steve Earle. His voice is more haunting though!

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I caught him live this summer, by accident at a festival here in Sweden, and got hooked. Such an amazing performance. I bought this record as soon as I got home that evening and have been a Josh Ritter fan ever since. You can go for any recording by him, it's all five stars, but I guess this is my personal favorite.

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One of the best folk lp


As the title says, for me, it's one one the best folk album i've ever heard. Try: "Girls in a war", "Wolves"; "In the dark"; "Good man" and "Best for the best". If you like Josh Ritter, don't forget to listen to its EPs and older LPs, songs like: "Harriburg"; "Come and find me"; "Leaving"; "Peter kill the dragon" are just great.

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This is powerful music. Great instrumentation and smart lyrics. An evocative acoustic style with a country root. This guy is really good.

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one of my favourites


I came upon Josh Ritter through emusic and I have to say that maybe he's the best artist I have found here and one of my favourites in general. What makes him special to me is that he writes such beautiful songs only a few can. If you are into acoustic singer/songwriter music then check this out. Maybe the best album to start with is Hello Starling.

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A must-have


Josh is one of the best young songwriters working today. Don't miss this. Start with "Girl In the War" and "Wolves" and fall in love.

They Say All Music Guide

Idaho-bred singer/songwriter Josh Ritter’s V2 Records debut follows in the footsteps of 2003′s Hello Starling only in instrumentation. While he retains his literate tongue and expressive voice, there is far less humor on Animal Years than on his previous two outings. Producer Brian Deck (Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse) keeps Animal Years intimate but transient, like a circus train crawling through a small town on a busy Saturday afternoon. Essentially built around two startlingly affecting diatribes on the war in Iraq, Ritter utilizes the voices of Peter and Paul, as well as Laurel & Hardy, to eke some kind of explanation from both the Administration and the Creator. The first, the deceptively sweet-sounding “Girl in the War,” threatens “The angels fly around in there, but we can’t see them/I got a girl in the war, Paul I know that they can hear me yell/If they can’t find a way to help her they can go to Hell.” The second, “Thin Blue Flame,” is a nearly ten-minute rant that follows the Velvet Underground “Heroin” arc of tinder to spark to full-on blaze in a way that hasn’t worked for anyone in a long time, but most certainly does here. The other cuts never reach the same heights, but standouts such as “Wolves,” with its sunrise gallop and “Whole of the Moon”-era Waterboys piano, and the languid “Monster Ballads” soar only inches beneath them. [A Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition of Animal Years was reissued in 2011 that included a bonus disc featuring Ritter performing the entire album acoustic. It also included four live B-sides, two videos, and new liner notes from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Ricks.] – James Christopher Monger

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