The Animal Years

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The Animal Years
Studio album by Josh Ritter
Released March 20, 2006 (UK)
April 11, 2006 (U.S.)
January 17, 2010 (Deluxe Edition)(Ireland)
January 25, 2011 (Vinyl) (U.S.)
February 15, 2011 (Deluxe Edition) (U.S.)
Genre Folk
Length 49:22
Label V2
Independent Records (Irish release)
Producer Brian Deck
Josh Ritter chronology
Hello Starling
The Animal Years
In The Dark - Live At Vicar Street
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
The A.V. Club A− [2]
Prefix Magazine (8.0/10) [3]
Mojo 4/5 stars[citation needed]
Q 4/5 stars[citation needed]

The Animal Years is the fourth album by Josh Ritter,[4] released on April 19, 2006.

Before performing Girl in the War at the 2006 annual dinner of the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C., Ritter stated that he intended to “to write about [the United States of America], but [instead] it all came out sounding like a love song."[5]

The Animal Years was reissued on February 15, 2011 as a two-disc Deluxe Edition. The Deluxe Edition includes the complete original studio album as well as a bonus CD with Ritter performing a solo acoustic version of the entire album (recorded in Nashville in June 2008). The bonus CD also includes four b-sides, a video (Lillian, Egypt), new artwork, and liner notes by Tom Ricks.[6] The Animal Years Deluxe Edition was previously released in Ireland on January 17, 2010. A vinyl version of the Deluxe Edition was released in the United States on January 25, 2011. It comes with a copy of the bonus acoustic and b-side CD.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Josh Ritter

  1. "Girl in the War" – 4:23
  2. "Wolves" – 4:04
  3. "Monster Ballads" – 4:05
  4. "Lillian, Egypt" – 3:24
  5. "Idaho" – 3:51
  6. "In the Dark" – 4:41
  7. "One More Mouth" – 3:29
  8. "Good Man" – 4:09
  9. "Best for the Best" – 3:58
  10. "Thin Blue Flame" – 9:38
  11. "Here at the Right Time" – 3:40

Track listing of Deluxe Edition (Bonus CD)[edit]

  1. "Girl in the War" (Solo Acoustic)
  2. "Wolves" (Solo Acoustic)
  3. "Monster Ballads" (Solo Acoustic)
  4. "Lillian, Egypt" (Solo Acoustic)
  5. "Idaho" (Solo Acoustic)
  6. "In the Dark" (Solo Acoustic)
  7. "One More Mouth" (Solo Acoustic)
  8. "Good Man" (Solo Acoustic)
  9. "Best for the Best" (Solo Acoustic)
  10. "Thin Blue Flame" (Solo Acoustic)
  11. "Here at the Right Time" (Solo Acoustic)
  12. "Blame It on the Tetons" (written by Modest Mouse)
  13. "Harbortown"
  14. "Peter Killed the Dragon"
  15. "Monster Ballads" (Early Version)


  • "Good Man" was featured on the season finale of the third season of House.
  • Stephen King rated The Animal Years the best album of 2006 in an article for Entertainment Weekly.[8]
  • In 2010, Ritter's band was given the name "The Royal City Band" (a reference to the song Thin Blue Flame from The Animal Years).

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Monger, James Christopher. The Animal Years at AllMusic
  2. ^ The A.V. Club review
  3. ^ Prefix Magazine review
  4. ^ Ydstie, John (2006-05-11). "On 'Animal Years,' Josh Ritter's Sense of Place". NPR. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  5. ^ Josh Ritter Plays A Girl in the War At CAP Event on YouTube
  6. ^ Independent Records
  7. ^ "‘The Animal Years’ Re-Issued in Deluxe & Vinyl Editions". Josh Ritter. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  8. ^ King, Stephen (2007-02-01). "The A-List". Retrieved 2012-01-14.