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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

96 Ratings

Beautiful

The_Ox_34,

All of Beam's previous work has been intimately beautiful, every listener will agree on that. Even I, called narrowminded by many of my friends, and a sole listener of rock & roll, came to love his music. His first two albums were great, a calm and insightful journey through music. It was some of the most original sound I'd heard in years. The rest of his growing catalog just as amazing, he finally reached a turning point in his career. Iron & Wine has taken a step forward in my opinion, Woman King being the fully realized power of Beam's sound. The title track and "Jezebel" are lyrical touching and musically astounding. My favorite song, however, is "Evening On The Ground", featuring Sam's riveting vocals and a stirring guitar. Iron & Wine continues to impress, and hopefully the next album solidify his maturing as an artist.

Beam Expands His Sonic Dictionary

CitizenDrummond,

Woman King finds Beam adding elements we've seen him add live previously, but now he's in the studio, and it's to stunning effect. The percussive clack of Woman King is an indicator of the brilliance and beauty to come. My Lady's House makes beautiful use of the piano, and Jezebel finds Beam at one of his most haunting moments. A fantastic step to follow the LP Our Endless Numbered Days. If this tickles your fancy, In the Reins with Calexico is your next destination, and you won't be disappointed.

About Iron & Wine

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 instruments and rich, lush textures, he was firmly exploring the former style when several of his lo-fi recordings caught the ear of Jonathan Poneman, co-owner of Sub Pop Records. The songs had been recorded in Beam's bedroom without the aid of studio flourishes, but Poneman nevertheless requested that additional material be sent to the label for submission, and Beam responded by sending two CDs in the mail -- both of them full-length albums. Poneman considered releasing them both, but instead slimmed down the set to 12 songs and released it in September 2002 as The Creek Drank the Cradle. The similarly themed The Sea & the Rhythm EP followed in 2003.

It was Beam's 2004 full-length, Our Endless Numbered Days, that signaled his arrival on the indie pop scene. Recorded in Chicago with producer Brian Deck, the album was resolutely hi-fi, but the addition of a full band only illuminated Beam's deft lyricism and intimate vocal delivery, resulting in one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year. Late 2004 found the newly marketable Iron and Wine popping up on television commercials and movie soundtracks (In Good Company, Garden State), culminating in a busy 2005 that saw Beam release two EPs, the lush Woman King and In the Reins, a collaboration with Arizona spaghetti Western aficionados Calexico. The politically charged Shepherd's Dog, Beam and company's most diverse -- and most listenable -- record to date, was released in 2007. A two-disc collection of B-sides, rarities, soundtrack inclusions, and discarded tracks from the Iron and Wine archives called Around the Well arrived in early 2009. Kiss Each Other Clean, Iron and Wine's first collection of new music in nearly three years and one that found Beam further expanding the group's sound, was released in January 2011 by their new label, Warner Bros. After a move to 4AD and Nonesuch, Iron and Wine released the more relaxed and intimate Ghost on Ghost in early 2013. The Brian Deck-produced album featured jazz drummer Brian Blade and bassist Tony Garnier of Bob Dylan's band, among others. Together with Band of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell, Beam released a covers album titled Sing into My Mouth in 2015. The record featured versions of songs from the likes of Talking Heads, John Cale, and Sade. ~ James Christopher Monger

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