Sunday, August 12, 2007

Iron & Wine - 'The Shepherd's Dog'

Iron & Wine The Shepherd's Dog
Released September 25, 2007
Sub Pop Records

Sam Beam has an incredible beard. I could probably end the review right there, because really, what else is there to know or care about? But just for you, I'll bravely continue on. The first thing that stood out to me about this cd when the listening began was that it seemed to progress nicely from his last real released work, the Woman King EP. Thaaaat cd saw him expand his trademark acoustic, folky sound into more of a full band sound, while still keeping his...trademark acoustic, folky sound. I can hear your protests now..'NO! I will not accept iron&wine as being anything more than one guy with a guitar whispering into a microphone about being naked as we came and whatnot!!' To those protests I say's 2007 buddy, get with the program! This is classic Iron & Wine stuff here guys, maybe a little more haunting, maybe a little more psychadelic, and there's even a song with a little reggae beat, but everything else is the same. The songwriting quality is still here, the quiet melodies are still here, and the overall awesomeness is still here. Beam has an innate ability to not just create a collection of good songs every time out, but to also create an atmosphere around his music that is lacking in so much stuff that gets released these days. When you put an I&W cd in your little cd player, you know damn well you're listening to an I&W cd. Beam is in a league of his own dudes, and when September rolls around I think you'd do well to pick this thing up. It's great music for watching the autumn leaves fall..or any other time really.
Check out 'Pagan Angel and A Borrowed Car' and 'Lovesong of the Buzzard'