Sound — 9
The first impression of Iron And Wine is that it is almost undeniably creative in each of the songs. Even when Sammy boy strums alone with his acoustic guitar, the songs never lose their bite and continue on to be more mindblowing than the next note played. Whether the songs responses be featured with the stylings of a lapslide guitar or the sweet melodic piano, each song is layered with mouthwatering lyrics that fit each beautiful melody perfectly. Whether it be the biblically inspired "Jezebel," or the beautifully woven "Light In My Lady's House," all are represented equally and each retains a great wonder from within. My personal fav. is Jezebel, which derives from a character from within The Bible. However, Sam characterizes her in the song as an indirect correlation. In a way, he provides his own thoughts and sentiments about what the character actually stands for.
Lyrics — 8
Sam Beam's lyrics are textured, well organized and utterly amazing. In some ways, I believe if he were to lay the guitar down and just sing his song acapella, it would still make a great story. All of the lyrics seem to embody the human spirit in some way. Whether it be highly idealized in some ways, it tends not to stray entirely too far from the reality. His lyrics aren't down to Earth, they seem to be somewhat floating. His softness in his words and his voice seem to be the perfect fit. His whisper tends to be that of a wild wind deep within a forest. Each word tends to bounce from tree to tree and surround the listener with a great sense of pleasure. Also, Sam Beam has a voice that of the kindest angels.
Overall Impression — 8
As his second to newest album, the Iron and Wine gang seems to get better with every album they produce. On each album, it seems that they make long strides forward in the creative process. And to date, I would have to call this one a masterpiece. Each song could stand on its own and also stick out amongst the crowd. Like I have previously stated in this review, "Jezebel," would simply have to be one of the most remarkable songs on the album. Still keeping within its traditional acoustic roots, "Jezebel" also encapsulates a unique quality of most dynamic proportions. Not only is the song beautiful and very alluring, its subject matter alone creates more than enough pleasant attributes. To be honest, the only down side I could see in buying this cd again is that there are not enough songs on the album.