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Josh Ritter

Golden Age of Radio – 2002 (Signature Sounds)

Reviewed by Brian Steinberg

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CDs by Josh Ritter

In an era when "artists" like Britney Spears and Andrew W.K. capture all the hoopla and the "Saturday Night Live" appearances, Josh Ritter offers a smidgen of hope. His new album finds the 24-year-old Idaho native coming on soft and subtle, much like Leonard Cohen, during his first song, "Come And Find Me," then delve quickly into fleeting childhood memory and edgy vocals in the next, "Me & Jiggs."

From there, Ritter delivers a series of acoustic-based ruminations that deliver more and more punch - musically and lyrically - with each listen. "Anne," "Leaving" and the title track are only three examples of Ritter's carefully drawn musical sketches, centered on the guitar, but laced with subtle drum and organ textures. If you're looking for the sonic assault, best turn elsewhere. But if you are looking for perfect little songs that stick in your head long after the listening is done, then "Golden Age of Radio'" ought to crackle around your head for quite a while.