Josh Ritter - The Beast In Its Tracks

Destined to forever be referred to as Josh Ritter's "divorce" album, The Beast In It's Tracks (March 5) finds a way to emotionally deconstruct the songwriter's split with fellow New York tunesmith Dawn Landes while discovering the personal catharsis that comes from surviving such a gut-wrenching shit storm. More often than not, Ritter's heartbreak is rendered with the cool and distant eye of forensic pathologist telling tales of the dissolution as one might describe the features of a lifeless body in an autopsy. But despite the wistful, woeful contemplation, Beast is surprisingly light on its feet and, in the end, optimistic. Remorse and regret are, reassuringly, emotions that fade with time and Ritter's honest display of the ability to get past the pain and move on can be found throughout the album. For every "Nightmares" and "Evil Eye" there's the hope of "New Love" (stream below) and "A Certain Light", a song where Ritter decides "I'm happy for the first time in a long time."

Josh Ritter - 'A Certain Light' (from The Beast In Its Tracks)

Josh Ritter - 'New Lover' from The Beast In Its Tracks)