So Runs... had the slowest burn for me. I remember being massively letdown when it was released, so much so that I listened to it twice and put it on the shelf for about six months or something. Then, in the midst of a Ritter kick, I picked it back up and started listening to it off and on again, waiting for it to click. It never really did, though I like it a lot more now than I did. The high points ("The Curse," "Another New World") are ludicrously high, but something about the overall direction of that album just doesn't gel with me the way his previous work did.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to this. I think this guy is possibly the best lyricist to come around since Nick Cave, and The Animal Years would most likely crack an overall Top 100 Albums list from me. I'd love to hear him top it.
I feel like I'm still
trying to get used to that album. Didn't like it at first, but after a while the songs started to sink in. It's just one of those albums that takes a while to absorb, I guess.
I think the thing about So Runs...
is that you can't listen to it as background music, it's an album you really need to pay attention to in order to enjoy. Most of the songs are so dense, it's like Josh set out to record an album where each song was "Thin Blue Flame"-like in its epicness. The songs by themselves are fine, but overall the record is exhausting to listen to straight through.
From the songs that've been released so far, Beast
seems like it'll be pretty balanced. I'm most interested in how autobiographical the lyrics are when in countless interviews before he used to claim not to like autobiographical songs.