Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Josh Ritter 

So Runs the World Away

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter spins tales of exploration and growth, stitching them together with details so minuscule that every character is a living, breathing apparition. Whether he's basking in alt-country (2000's Golden Age of Radio) or delivering rock-driven melodies (2007's The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter), the Idaho-born Ritter surveys his worldly curiosities through poetic lyricism and impeccable songcraft. He says So Runs the World Away was his most difficult album to make; it sure sounds like his most diverse. In the haunting, starkly percussive "Rattling Locks," Ritter barks "I'd rather spend another night in hell" as his band creates heat and tension. In the cheerfully poppy "Lark" and "Lantern," he sounds more hopeful. Best is "The Curse," a touching tale of an archeologist's love affair with a mummy — the surrealistic fiction awes with its beauty. Every track tells a separate story, inspired by bird hibernation, the golden ratio to Newton's studies, and other such subjects. Individually they impress, but as an album So Runs the World Away lacks the cohesion of Ritter's other work. It's hard to transition from a traditional folk tune like "Folk Bloodbath" to something like "Lark." With so much to take in, you might find the album as challenging as Ritter does. — Danielle Sills

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 18, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation