Idaho native and former neurosurgeon Josh Ritter wears his heart on his sleeve more than most thanks to his intimate, poetic style that has infused the majority of his albums over the last decade. His 2013 album “The Beast In Its Tracks” documented his fragile post-divorce mental state, even though he’d already long since moved on and had a child with his new partner.
The happier songs from that new life finally popped up on 2017’s “Gathering”; a rockier, more carefree collection of songs that has been backed up amicably by his new LP “Fever Breaks”. Despite the tone, there are a few fundamental differences between the two. Where “Gathering” was fast, loose and freewheeling, “Fever Breaks” is sharp and lean, thanks largely to producer Jason Isbell, who also lends his day-job backing band The 400 Unit to proceedings.
Little is wasted on Fever Breaks, whether it’s the standout lead guitar work of Sadler Vaden, or Ritter’s always superlative lyrics, honed and polished to near perfection.
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