Josh Ritter wins again, with “So Runs the World Away.” It’s an outstanding collection of songs, transporting you to a different time and place. I listened to it sitting alone in my car on a horrendously rainy day. It was a perfect fit. Songs like “The Curse,” “Rattling Locks,” and “Folk Bloodbath” prove that he’s got no shortage of inspiration both lyrically or instrumentally, because the songs are as realized and full as ever. It is extremely produced, with layers and layers of keys and auxillary and backup vocals and all kinds of things, which is not what one might expect from a tried and true folk artist who brings such simple songs like “Monster Ballads” and “Kathleen.” But while that might draw criticism from some listeners, I think it works, and Ritter has already proved he excels in this area of arranging (see: “Girl in the War”). Also, this could be a good album for people who aren’t familiar with Ritter to get into him, since there is a lot of variation on it.

In other news, I am once again without an iPod. And probably will be for a good two to three months, yay.