Album Review: Josh Ritter “The Beast In Its Tracks”

Kevin Nelson, contributor

Divorce is never a happy subject. The inherent sadness and inherent no doubt creates a mournful tone, but mournful is truly the bread and butter of singer-songwriter types, so it’s perfectly suited for Josh Ritter’s latest, “The Beast in Its Tracks.”

Written and recorded in the 18 months following a split from his wife, Ritter took a more focused approach than his previous albums to cover his real world pain. It’s predominantly Josh, a guitar and some good old fashioned heartbreak.

Standout tracks include “Bonfire,” “In Your Arms Again” and the Dylan-infused “New Lover.” What really carries the album is Ritter’s well-known lyrical abilities. When he sings “Supposedly, it was a wise, wise man / Who said it is better to have loved and lost / Than never to not have loved at all,” the play on a famous saying combined with a double negative just comes across as sublime.

Divorce is never a happy subject. But when tinged in such a masterpiece as “The Beast in Its Tracks,” it’s found a happy spot.

*Bullshit it’s not a happy subject! -eD

I disagree. I loved my divorce. – another Ed.

Rating: 9 out of 12 cans of PBR

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