If you like folk singer/songwriters….
Then listen to it on a pensive drive when it’s sort of gray and rainy, and it sounds really fucking good. “Thin Blue Flame” kind of blew my mind at first, it was like a cross between Death Cab and, i don’t know, a more literary Ryan Adams. And upon second listen, it was still pretty resonant. Good sign. Third, too.
But you have to be into this kind of sound to appreciate it, i think. His lyrics are powerful in their own right, and he does have some equally powerful moments. Beautiful songs, but simple. A song like “Idaho,” well, you just have to like folk music. I needed something new to dig my ear into in that genre, so I’m glad this full length came my way.
Also, Ritter majored in the self-created study of “American History Through Narrative Folk Music,” according to Wikipedia and thus he is my academic hero.