- Released: August 21, 2007
- Label: RCA
Entertainment Weekly - p.78
"[A] sprawling diorama of down-home rhythms and thoughtful lyrics..." -- Grade: A-
Q - p.1054 stars out of 5
-- "[A] triumph....[The songs] move his sweeping vision light years ahead....Often compared to the likes of Damien Rice and David Gray, Ritter's barely on the same planet."
Uncut - p.1214 stars out of 5
-- "[T]he sound of Ritter cutting loose: with 14 short, sharp, richly melodic songs about love, gunslingers and Joan of Arc."
Dirty Linen - p.75
"[M]ore spontaneous and emotional than its predecessor....'Mind's Eye' and 'Right Moves' have a layered Beatles quality that invite multiple playbacks."
- 1.To the Dogs or Whoever
- 2.Mind's Eye
- 3.Right Moves
- 4.The Temptation of Adam
- 5.Open Doors
- 7.Edge of the World
- 8.Wait For Love
- 9.Real Long Distance
- 10.Next to the Last Romantic
- 12.Still Beating
- 13.Empty Hearts
- 14.Wait For Love - (You Know You Will)
Personnel: Josh Ritter (guitars); Zack Hickman (acoustic guitar); Sam Kassirer (electric piano); Liam Hurley (drums).
Additional personnel: Joelle Lurie (vocals); Bill Fagley (spoken vocals); Sarah Whitney (violin); Tony Barba (clarinet); Matt Duglas (alto saxophone); Kirk Knuffke (flugelhorn); Ariane Barbanell (unknown instrument); Doug Rice (background vocals); The Great North Sound Society Orchestra.
Less well-known but arguably more talented than his contemporary Ryan Adams, and perhaps forever doomed to be confused with Josh Rouse, an equally fine but far more low-key indie singer-songwriter, Josh Ritter should nonetheless count himself lucky: in the 1970s, he would have been called a New Dylan, a moniker that inhibited the career of every singer-songwriter it was applied to. Like his guitar-totting forebears, Ritter does bear the mark of Dylan in his wordy mix of highbrow literary and historical allusions with sly pop culture riffs, but musically, Ritter has more in common with contemporaries like the Arcade Fire or the Hold Steady, anchoring folky tunes such as "The Temptation of Adam" and "To the Dogs Or Whoever" with a solid, anthemic rock base.
(Note: A limited first edition of THE HISTORICAL CONQUESTS OF JOSH RITTER includes a four-track bonus EP.)