The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Aug 21, 2007
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 38
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 38
  3. Negative: 1 out of 38

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  1. LunaF.
    Sep 18, 2007
    10
    I am very glad I have found the beauty that is Josh Ritter's music. Love the lyrics and the sound... a little bit rock, a little bit country, but mostly folk rock. This album is varied with many types of songs.... some remind me of Bob Dylan (though Ritter hates the comparison) and some even remind me of Rufus Wainwright... He makes the music his own though. A great collection of I am very glad I have found the beauty that is Josh Ritter's music. Love the lyrics and the sound... a little bit rock, a little bit country, but mostly folk rock. This album is varied with many types of songs.... some remind me of Bob Dylan (though Ritter hates the comparison) and some even remind me of Rufus Wainwright... He makes the music his own though. A great collection of songs... and one of the best albums of the year so far. Expand
  2. RD.
    Sep 18, 2007
    10
    A musical landscape-changing record. A neo classic.
  3. MatthewP.
    Sep 21, 2007
    10
    A definite improvement on The Animal Years, and that was as near perfect as a alternative country album can get! He is slowly becoming a big player and its about time!
  4. JeffA.
    Sep 30, 2007
    10
    I like a lot of albums. Some I like a lot. But I really love this one.
  5. PatrickMM.
    Sep 17, 2007
    10
    I never thought Josh Ritter would ever be able to top his previous work the Animal Years. And for me he didn't, but that's not to say this isn't a damn fine album. It is! It's a solid 10.0... it's just that, to me, Animal Years was a 10+. Now I have to ask, when is this guy going to get his due? How much awesome work does he have to pile up before he's a I never thought Josh Ritter would ever be able to top his previous work the Animal Years. And for me he didn't, but that's not to say this isn't a damn fine album. It is! It's a solid 10.0... it's just that, to me, Animal Years was a 10+. Now I have to ask, when is this guy going to get his due? How much awesome work does he have to pile up before he's a household name in the States and commercial radio is even able to spell his first name? Okay, it's probably better he's not and they can't...anyways...buy this CD and Animal Years now and then sample his early work. You'll be glad you did. Expand
  6. MikeJ.
    Sep 17, 2007
    10
    Possibly the bet album of the year. Echoes of Dylan and Leonard Cohen, but still maintaining his previous sounds especially in Golden Age of Radio. The opening track hits you like a kick in the stomach with biblical, historical, and poetic references. Then slowly calms you down with songs like "Empty Hearts" and "Temptation of Adam" but can pick you up all at once with the drums of Possibly the bet album of the year. Echoes of Dylan and Leonard Cohen, but still maintaining his previous sounds especially in Golden Age of Radio. The opening track hits you like a kick in the stomach with biblical, historical, and poetic references. Then slowly calms you down with songs like "Empty Hearts" and "Temptation of Adam" but can pick you up all at once with the drums of "Rumors" or the twangy guitar of "Last True Romantic". The album is a roller coaster of emotion, Ritter's best, and once again, possibly the years best. Expand
  7. Brendan
    Sep 17, 2007
    10
    Josh Ritter is the Man!
  8. BrendaH.
    Sep 18, 2007
    10
    Great!
  9. GregB.
    Sep 19, 2007
    10
    Gets better with every listen. My vote for album of the year thus far.
  10. ChrisC.
    Nov 4, 2007
    10
    Not only the best record of the year, but the best record in a decade.
  11. RobertD.
    Sep 17, 2007
    10
    Best album of 2007 so far. At first, I was somewhat underwhelmed - expecting something different, I would imagine - something slower, more political, more akin to The Animal Years. After a few listens, however, I completely changed my tune. Although some of the rhymes are a bit "easier" and the writing is a bit more literal, the change in musicality more than makes up for it. It's an Best album of 2007 so far. At first, I was somewhat underwhelmed - expecting something different, I would imagine - something slower, more political, more akin to The Animal Years. After a few listens, however, I completely changed my tune. Although some of the rhymes are a bit "easier" and the writing is a bit more literal, the change in musicality more than makes up for it. It's an absolutely incredible album. Expand
  12. DB.
    Sep 17, 2007
    10
    album of the year
  13. ChrisK.
    Sep 18, 2007
    10
    Ritter's best record and easily one of the best of the year.
  14. Apr 25, 2012
    10
    Strongest Josh Ritter album, I love every song on it. It is one of the few albums I can listen to the entire album at one and repeatedly. His use of variations on a single chord structure makes for a great musical coloration. Rapid fire lyrics on the first track are very impressive. One of the best lyricists today.
  15. AndrewH.
    Sep 17, 2007
    9
    The best album of Ritter's career and a shoo-in for the top 10 albums of this year, if not almost any year in recent memory. This is the kind of quality music that transcends taste: I could listen to this album with my hippest, snobbiest friends and I could listen to it with my grandma. Nearly perfect.
  16. ErikH.
    Sep 19, 2007
    9
    Easily among the best albums of the year!
  17. chrisF
    Oct 24, 2007
    9
    Melds into the room when played and makes everything better. Don't know the names of the tracks and don't care. It's instantly pleasant.
  18. GeorgeB.
    Sep 17, 2007
    8
    Strong songs hampered by cramped sound
  19. matta.
    Sep 21, 2007
    8
    Not as good as The Animal Years, but still solid. He has definitely came into his own as an artist and these last two albums are his best work to date.
  20. PaulC
    Sep 18, 2007
    8
    Dylan's best album since Blonde on Blonde!
  21. Aug 6, 2011
    8
    There are some great songs on here. There's no denying that. As for an album, it's a little all over the place, but still.. fantastic. "The Temptation of Adam" might be Ritter's best song. Ever.
  22. Feb 2, 2012
    8
    Josh Ritters 5th studio album keeps to the high standards he's set out so far in his career. This is probably is biggest attempt at breaking into the mainstream radio market. A lot of the songs have been polished here and you definitely get the feeling that a record company had more of an influence here than on any other record. It has some great pop songs and overall is very good, howeverJosh Ritters 5th studio album keeps to the high standards he's set out so far in his career. This is probably is biggest attempt at breaking into the mainstream radio market. A lot of the songs have been polished here and you definitely get the feeling that a record company had more of an influence here than on any other record. It has some great pop songs and overall is very good, however I'm glad that on the follow up to this - "So Runs the World Away" he went back to the more folky sound. Expand
  23. time
    Sep 17, 2007
    7
    I thought he died a few years ago? I loved him in Threes Company
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Historical Conquests is above all a fun record. It's got all of the heartache, acute observation, and crushing truth that fans are used to, but it never preaches without a wink and, most importantly, sounds as good blisteringly loud as it does drifting out of a clock radio in the garage.
  2. You're presently reading about what may be the best album of 2007, hands down, by the most under-accorded American musical genius.
  3. The Historical Conquests of..., a sprawling diorama of down-home rhythms and thoughtful lyrics, isn't immediately striking. But there's a joy in unfurling the half-submerged melodies and wry, tender sentiments.