Fever Breaks

Fever Breaks

Throughout his 20-year run, singer-songwriter Josh Ritter has created vivid portraits of American life. Now, on his tenth album, the Idaho native narrates tales of love, family, and politics with production by roots-rocker Jason Isbell and backup from Isbell's band The 400 Unit. “I saw my country in the hungry eyes/Of a million refugees,” Ritter sings with empathy over classic country twang on “All Some Kind of Dream.” On “The Torch Committee,” he turns his attention to the effects of establishment corruption over eerie spoken word. He looks within on “Old Black Magic” as he pairs vulnerability with rock 'n' roll swagger, addressing his flaws through brawny, bluesy riffs and tumbling drums: “I tried to be a good man/Something changes in the wind.” The spare, acoustic “On the Water” offers a moment of respite—a return to the folk flourishes of 2013’s The Beast in Its Tracks, responding to life’s challenges with a clear message: Love always prevails.

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