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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it..... I MEAN NOW!!!!!
Like folk? Like Americana? Like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen,Johnny Cash? Then for God's sake get this. I own just about everything Josh Ritter has recorded and you can still get your hands on. The man's a genius and anyone who's seen him live will have already bought everything he's ever done too! The comparisons with Dylan will more than likely never go away, but it's...
Published on 2 Mar 2005

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A FINE LISTEN
I first heard this artist on a BBC live session and was very impressed with the voice and the lyrics of Ireland's Mr Ritter.
Unlike David Gray, his voice is less annoying and has a slight gravelly feel to it. No new ground has been broken on this record, but as to its sound, think Damien Rice mixed with Nick Drake. Some of the tracks are sparse in places and it works...
Published on 25 Mar 2004 by leedanielthompson


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it..... I MEAN NOW!!!!!, 2 Mar 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Hello Starling (Audio CD)
Like folk? Like Americana? Like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen,Johnny Cash? Then for God's sake get this. I own just about everything Josh Ritter has recorded and you can still get your hands on. The man's a genius and anyone who's seen him live will have already bought everything he's ever done too! The comparisons with Dylan will more than likely never go away, but it's unfair to label him like that. The strength of the songs and the diversity he has achieved with his 3 albums are a testament to his ability. And they don't half love him in Ireland! Come England, get with the program and make this guy a superstar.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FOLK CLASSIC, 19 May 2004
This review is from: Hello Starling (Audio CD)
This album is simply brilliant and my enthusiam for it has inspired me to write this review and urge others to listen to it. I discovered Ritter as a support act for Joan Baez. I enjoyed his banter and anti-Bush political comments between songs, but most of all the music. I rushed to buy this album straight away. Rarely has a new CD had so much impact on me. I have enjoyed playing it again and again. The songs stick in your head after very few hearings and I find myself singing and humming them. Its emotional and moving, Ritter's voice gentle and haunting. The tunes are wonderful. Most albums have a stand-out track. I would say that eight of this albums eleven tracks are outstanding, in particular the Dylan-esque "You don't make it easy babe" with its stipped bare guitar and the Baez covered "Wings". They're all good though. I am delighted to have found this album, its the best I've heard in ages. So powerful are these songs they will define an era of my life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Following in a grand tradition, 2 Aug 2007
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Hello Starling (Audio CD)
Hello Starling is the third album by Josh Ritter, about whom I knew nothing when I came across this CD, but soon wanted to know more. A spell online revealed that he is a singer-songwriter and guitarist originally from Moscow ID who has been steadily building support since his first self-released album in 1999, particularly in his native States and in Ireland, where he initially toured supporting the Frames.

For this album, Dave Odlum from the Frames was enlisted as producer and the album was recorded over a fortnight in February 2002 in a converted dairy barn near Angers in France (also used by Dave Odlum for an EP with Gemma Hayes in 2001), and with Josh's touring band, augmented by Dave Odlum helping out on guitar and mandolin.

As a teenager, Josh Ritter had been inspired by discovering Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash playing together on the Nashville Skyline album, and has also acknowledged Townes Van Zandt, Leonard Cohen and Gillian Welch among his influences (there is a nod to Townes Van Zandt on this album's Kathleen, also the title of one of his songs). He studied American History through narrative music at college, spending six months in Scotland at the School of Scottish Folk Studies, and also made a study of American religious music, American Civil War songs and late 19th century popular ballads, parlour songs and cowboy songs.

Although he has found his own voice and a clear natural style, it is clear from his stripped back approach and the meticulously recorded instruments that he has learned well and deeply from all these guiding legacies and adaptations. This album has been built to last and left one keenly anticipating the next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible album by a highly underrated artist, 9 Aug 2008
By 
Andy Sweeney "music was my first love" (Brighton, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hello Starling (Audio CD)
I bought 'Hello Starling', the first Josh Ritter album I ever listened to, because of a recommendation from a very enthusiastic friend and, after playing this astonishing album once, promptly ordered every single album Josh has ever released. Yes, it really is that good. It is a classic, often glorious-sounding folk/rock masterpiece which has echoes of Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Bruce Springsteen and yet remains firmly and unmistakably the distinctive work of Josh Ritter. I'm not even sure when he's at his best - whether it is when he's picking on his acoustic guitar on the gorgeous opener 'Bright Smile', the beautiful 'Wings' and the Dylanesque 'You Don't Make It Easy Babe' or when he's cutting loose on songs such as the organ drenched 'Man Burning' and the magnificent 'Kathleen', which never fails to sends shivers down my spine - that's just one of the many attractions of this album, the fact that he's so good at all he does here.

There are no bad or even average tracks on this album - it is a remarkable, incredible listen from beginning to end and he is a songwriter and performer of immense talent. You could dip into this album randomly and buy it on the strength of any one of these tracks, be it the gentle, beguiling 'California' or 'Bone Of Song' to the uplifting 'Snow Is Gone' - it's all extremely good. I still find it incredible that an artist of Josh's calibre is relatively unknown in the UK, especially given the strength and appeal of pretty much all of his work. Having done so myself, I'd say that 'Hello Starling' is a great place to start a Josh Ritter collection and if you love this album a fraction of the amount I do then I am confident that it won't be your last Josh Ritter purchase. Truly brilliant and highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have album, 14 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: HELLO STARLING (Audio CD)
Josh's albums just keep getting better and better!! This album has some of his strongest tunes from his live gigs on it - the exceptional Kathleen, current single Man Burning and Snow is gone never fail to get a crowd going and little energy is lost when listening at home. The beautiful opening track 'Bright smile, dark eyes' is perfect and other mellow tracks on the album give it the perfect balance of stomping tracks and mellow tunes.
Having to date only seen Josh solo I was pleased to hear how well a full band compliments his songs....and you can almost hear him grinning his head off as he sings :)
A brilliant album of strong folk songs - keep it up josh!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That difficult third album!?! More like an absolute stonker!, 29 Jan 2013
This review is from: Hello Starling (Audio CD)
Josh really got his game with the release of this album.

Hello Starling was his last mostly acoustic album and the themes seem to revolve around lost loves, mystical jaw bones and reference to the 23 rd palm. Priceless.

There is major maturity in his craft from the previous album"Golden Age of Radio" and it went to number one in the Irish Republic.

Notably, he still plays a number of the tracks live and they sound amazing in this form, but I still like to listen to the more intimate and live feeling originals here.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Josh Ritter....time for the rest of the world to take notice, 13 Mar 2004
By 
Mr. Brendan Russell "bren" (dublin, ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hello Starling (Audio CD)
Josh Ritter writes enjoyable songs which have brought him to sell out some of Ireland's biggest venues. This (his third album) is just one of those albums that you have to like, an album with nice mix of enjoyable upbeat and mellow songs reminiscent of ryan adams, leonard cohen and bruce springsteen, an album which has seen him really break into the mainstream in Ireland. From start to finish this is easy listening to beautiful tunes and great lyrics. For an alt country or easy listening music fan who has never heard of Josh this is the perfect album, while for the big fan who has seen him live this album leaves you feeling like it could have done more, it's not quite up to his previous more alternative 'golden age of radio' album. Although one thing is for sure the man has the potential to be one of the biggest and best songwriters around.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A FINE LISTEN, 25 Mar 2004
This review is from: Hello Starling (Audio CD)
I first heard this artist on a BBC live session and was very impressed with the voice and the lyrics of Ireland's Mr Ritter.
Unlike David Gray, his voice is less annoying and has a slight gravelly feel to it. No new ground has been broken on this record, but as to its sound, think Damien Rice mixed with Nick Drake. Some of the tracks are sparse in places and it works with Ritter's narrative style - the excellent 'Bone of Song' is very Drake without trying to be him. The album is nicely produced and has just the right amount of instrumentation to suit Josh's voice - a little lap steel, some organ and the all important fingerpicked acoustic guitar. If you like Ryan Adams, Damien Rice and Nick Drake then this will be a welcome addition to your music collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars CLEVER AND UPLIFTING, 27 Oct 2014
This review is from: Hello Starling (Audio CD)
"The Beast In Its Tracks" is Idaho born, Alt/Folk, Josh Ritter's seventh full length release.
It's that all too frequent subject of broken relationships that inspired this latest offering from Ritter. Having broken up with his wife, after an 18 month marriage he set to penning this excellent recording.
Trademark clever lyrics are at the core, relaying anxst, but at the end of it all due to the superb instrumentation and an uplift in mood, the listener is left with a feeling of hope.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful just, 25 Feb 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hello Starling (Audio CD)
Love the poetry, and the music. Keeps me working late into the night. Bone of Song is the best on the album. Intimate.
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