Few musicians are as wonderful as Josh Ritter. I can say this with confidence becuase I've seen Josh Ritter in concert and to put things simply, the man is a bucket of joy. I might have more respect for Ritter than I do any other man in the music industry because, as someone who spent a good chunk of her adult life going out nearly every single night to concerts, I know how tiring that lifestyle can be. Yet night after night, Ritter can be found on stage, be it stateside or across the pond, where Ritter is immensely popular, giving it his very literal all, bringing a ton of happiness to sold out audiences and doing it all with a grin on his face the whole time.
How lovely of a person Josh Ritter is is sort of beside the point however. It's my belief that Ritter very well might be the best lyricist of my generation. I'm slightly apprehensive to say this, only because there are lyricists out there that I'm sure are extremely talented that I've yet to hear but based upon who I have heard, I'm inclined to say that Ritter is tops.
Few songwriters these days can spin a tale like Ritter. Be it a love story between two scientists, engineering a bomb that could bring about the end of the world ("The Temptation of Adam") or a tragic story of love gone by the wayside ("Best Is For The Best"), Ritter is an expert story teller and I, for one, hope to one day use a Ritter lyric as a pick up line becuase how cool would that be? (I'd totally go for "If this was the cold war we could keep each other warm." because who the heck wouldn't fall for that?) Below, you'll find five examples to back up the statement "Josh Ritter might be the best lyricist of my generation." You're more than welcome to disagree with this statement but I feel as if I proved my case fairly well here.
We can pretend this giant missle is an old oak tree instead, and carve our names in hearts into the warhead.
You're half dead in the street but that just means you're half alive and your heart's still beating.
So I said, "All I've got are my guts and my God," then I paused, "and the Annabel Lee."
At night, I make plans for a city laid down like the hips of a girl on the spring covered ground.
I would love to link to one lyric from "The Curse" that singifies it's beauty but to be honest, I can't. The song is a love story between a mummy and the archeologist who excavates his tomb. If this song doesn't bring a tear to your eye, I'm sorry to break it to you but you probably have no soul. Read the lyrics in their enteirty here.
Also, Ritter has an amazing segment on his blog called "Making A Life In Music" which is a must read for anyone trying to make their way in music industry.