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Around the Well (Bonus Track Version)

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iTunes Review

Around the Well is a collection of “rarities” from Iron & Wine: outtakes, B-sides, soundtrack cuts, demos. Considering the low profile of the “band” in question (really singer-songwriter Sam Beam with whomever he chooses to collaborate), it’s merely a handy-dandy assembly of stray tracks that loyal fans will want in order to complete their collection. Everything that makes Beam such an attractive performer is here. The soft, whispered vocals, the impeccable finger-picked acoustics, the thoughtful enigmatic lyrics, the laidback, chilling melodies all coalesce into a formidable whole. If these are “leftovers,” then Beam is one solid, prolific songwriter. Covers of the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” (featured in the film Garden State) and the Flaming Lips’ “Waitin’ for a Superman” add to the intrigue factor. The 23 tracks begin with mostly quiet, unadorned acoustic tunes (“Loud As Hope” is simply gorgeous) with slide guitar and hushed arrangements, eventually expanding into fuller band excursions such as “Kingdom of the Animals” where piano and electric slide spike the punch. 

Customer Reviews

Excellent compilation...and a message to "dudemansweet"

I have most of the songs in this compilation collected from B-sides and some vinyl, but I still admire the fact that they are all in one album (a family of B-sides and rarities.) I especially like "The Trapeze Swinger" (although I like the Radio Vienna version can bring tears to your eyes.) Now my message to "dudemansweet": I strongly believe that everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I think your review was not an opinion but simply a lack of knowledge about Iron & Wine. You heard "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" in that soundtrack to a movie about "vampires" and that bias or inclination probably influenced you to think that Iron & Wine would be a band for you. I'm sorry that "you can't hear his voice," but I guess you automatically thought you'd love Iron & Wine just because their song was featured in that movie about "vampires." Subtlety, delicateness, and nuance would be words to explain Sam's voice, not "quiet."


There are certain people in this world who hold within them such an abundance of talent and ability that it defies belief. Sam Beam is one of those people.


Having trouble sleeping? New Drug: this album. Don't even hesitate to buy. Worth every penny. If you're an old time Iron & Wine fan, or even new, this album is for you. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.


Born: July 26, 1974 in Columbia, SC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Samuel Beam, who rose to prominence with a blend of whispered vocals and softly homespun indie folk, chose the moniker Iron and Wine after coming across a dietary supplement named "Beef Iron & Wine" while working on a film. Raised in South Carolina, Beam received his bachelor's degree in art from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and later his Master of Fine Arts degree from Florida State University Film School. Although Beam would later expand his sound to include electric...
Full Bio

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Around the Well (Bonus Track Version), Iron & Wine
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