Josh Ritter is, at his core, a wordsmith. His proclivity for words — for their exactitude, potency, and even magic — comes out in his lyrical prowess. He not only summarizes an experience with perceptive poetic force, but also heightens its impact with clever rhythmic structuring. It’s why when he sings “Our love would live a half-life on the surface” from his apocalyptic love song “The Temptation of Adam” (off 2007’s The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter), the line delivers the linguistic equivalent of a gut punch for anyone who has known the kind of love that cannot survive its own origin story.
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