The first track on â€œThe Historical Conquests of Josh Ritterâ€ is â€œTo The Dogs or Whoeverâ€, and it shows Ritter as someone that blends together Bob Dylan with Conor Oberst. The style approached during this inaugural track is a jangly bit of indie rock that will allow individuals to sing along after only a few listens. Hints of the neo folk movement, particularly acts like Vetiver and Devendra Banhart (and later White Stripes) come into play as the missing piece to Ritterâ€™s own unique style. â€œMindâ€™s Eyeâ€ has some big shoes to fill after this opening salvo, and starts out with a set of guitars that are a virtual mirror of those that start off The Clashâ€™s â€œLondon Callingâ€.
The piano that is introduced moderates the jarring sound of the guitars, and sets up a slower tempo for Ritterâ€™s vocals to work along with. The track has hints of earlier Billy Joel and Elton John, but Ritterâ€™s major contribution here is being able to go and make the track that individuals in the current period can really get behind. It is pretty much a foregone conclusion by the time that â€œMindâ€™s Eyeâ€ ends that Ritterâ€™s audience will stick with eir for the rest of the disc, which allows Ritter to experiment a little bit more with the subsequent tracks on the disc. â€œRight Movesâ€ brings a more pop-infused sound to Ritterâ€™s listeners, and the overall orientation of the song seems much more in the easy listening, seventies vein. â€œThe Temptation of Adamâ€ starts off in a slow, morose way.
However (and this is the beauty of Ritterâ€™s sound during this track), there is a sense of hope present in the instrumentation that opens up to allow Ritterâ€™s vocals in. What results with this track is Ritterâ€™s first unqualified hit; if this does not get eir on NPR and countless college radio stations throughout the United States, I have no clue what could. â€œOpen Doorsâ€ speeds things up and captures the interest of individuals that might have been put off by the slower sound approached during â€œThe Temptation of Adamâ€.Â Ritter, at the end of â€œThe Historical Conquestsâ€, is a hero; without anything in the way of weak tracks on the disc, it is a sure bet that ey has gained a number of new fans.
Top Tracks: Rumors, Open Doors