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An incredible album by a highly underrated artist,
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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.