User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. BKM
    Mar 13, 2013
    Josh Ritter's latest album is easily his most personal to date as he uses the 13 tracks here to mull over the end of old relationships and the beginnings of new ones. The material isn't quite as emotionally wrenching as expected given the source material (Ritter's divorce) but the lyrics are still vivid and poetic and his ear for melodies remains as strong as ever.
  2. Mar 11, 2013
    As a long time Josh Ritter fan, I really enjoy this album. It is clearly the most personal of any previous album and anyone who has experienced heartbreak will relate. An easy listen from start to finish which gets better every time through; "Hopeful" stood out as the track I will keep coming back for, but the rest also remind me why I anticipate all of Josh's offerings.
  3. Mar 10, 2014
    Ritter continues to hone his ability to write a great lyric accompanied by sweet melodies.

    The Beast In Its Tracks follows an increasingly long list of solid and consistently good albums from the Idaho songwriter. When I heard what the albums was written about, the breakup of his marriage, I was expecting a heavy record but despite its subject matter, the album doesn't feel as weighty
    as some of his other work.
    While the songwriting is of the high standard we associate with Ritter, here his usual folky delivery detracts from any pain or sadness that you might have expected to be invoked on this album. Josh Ritter's albums are always lovely affairs and even on this record, dealing with rejection and loss, he never sounds angry or overly bitter. In a way that Eels write about manic depression with melody and a spring in the step, this album is probably one of the most upbeat break up albums ever written, tending to focus on the hope of the future while reflecting on the past. This is most obviously seen in the middle section of the album where we get songs like "Hopeful" and "New Lover". "Joy to You Baby", a great song that reflects elements of Van Morrison, comes towards the end of the record and again see's Ritter wishing the one who jilted him all the best.
    The Beast In Its Tracks rushes by and is over before you know and while not Ritter's best or most consistent work, fits in well with his back catalog and sees him continue to hone his ability to write a great lyric accompanied by sweet melodies.
  4. Mar 15, 2013
    Wonderful album. It makes me wonder how anyone couldn't enjoy his music. This album is more classic Ritter than his last two albums. Josh demonstrates his world class song writing ability coupled with vocals that are therapy for the ears.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Apr 10, 2013
    Ritter's seventh album may not be quite the same league as Dylan's masterpiece, but post his own divorce it does contain all the same edgy recrimination and pain. [May 2013, p.109]
  2. 80
    The Beast In Its Tracks is a gracious, relentlessly honest, post-breakup record.
  3. Mar 22, 2013
    Despite the minimal aura throughout, luminous field recordings of Ritter's current girlfriend and concrete scene setting keep this LP from devolving into a series of narrow-minded, scribbled diary entries. [Mar-Apr 2013, p.106]