The Animal Years - Josh Ritter
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 35 Ratings

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  • Summary: Brian Deck (Modest Mouse) produced the Idaho singer-songwriter's fourth album and major-label debut.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. An album that sounds simultaneously deeply personal and in tune with confusing times.
  2. He finally has the sumptuous, sweeping arrangements to go along with his ruminative road stories and stream-of-consciousness, Dylanesque folk. [14 Apr 2006, p.86]
  3. The Animal Years feels effortless.
  4. 80
    Despite having some of Ritter's least introspective lyrics, there are some of his most emotionally affecting songs. [Apr 2006, p.98]
  5. 70
    There's a tendency to drift rather than fully engage, but... "Wolves" and... "Thin Blue Line"... dazzle with poetic imagery and invention. [Apr 2006, p.102]
  6. There's something subtly majestic and quitely engaging about the music of Josh Ritter. [#13, p.88]
  7. He establishes grand lyrical arches, overworked symbols, and Deep Meaning. Problem is, he forgets any of the emotion, realism, or originality that would make anyone care.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Aug 6, 2011
    My personal favorite album of all time, closely followed by Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. I can't stress enough how important it is to listen to these songs. Expand
  2. Feb 2, 2012
    I wouldn't quite go as far as to say it's a classic but it is certainly a great album from the American pop/folk writer. 11 very good tracks on this record and shows mature progression from his previous effort Hello Starling. The song writing here is as strong as Springsteen's or Dylan's and lyrically it's pretty close to faultless. Perhaps a few more upbeat melodies would have gained this one an extra point or two. Expand

See all 20 User Reviews