10 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As impressive as his past work has been, Samuel Beam (a.k.a. Iron & Wine) blows away all expectations with Kiss Each Other Clean. Previous Iron & Wine releases have explored American roots music themes in quirky, provocative ways; this time, electronica elements are applied to old-fashioned song motifs and folk instrumental colors to gorgeous effect. Beam’s clear high tenor soars to serene heights, surrounded by subtly layered background vocals. The songs shift from sunny invocations of the past (“Tree By the River”) to shadow-haunted narratives (“Rabbit Will Run”) and oblique cautionary tales (“Monkeys Uptown”). A warm spiritual glow lights up the enraptured “Walking Far from Home” and the delicately shimmering “Godless Brother In Love.” Unexpected sonic curve balls — like the funky, saxophone-accent groove of “Big Burned Hand” and the use of analog synthesizer sounds on numerous tracks — keep things pleasantly off-balance. The seven-minute “Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me” closes the album with jazzy wails and prophetic visions.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As impressive as his past work has been, Samuel Beam (a.k.a. Iron & Wine) blows away all expectations with Kiss Each Other Clean. Previous Iron & Wine releases have explored American roots music themes in quirky, provocative ways; this time, electronica elements are applied to old-fashioned song motifs and folk instrumental colors to gorgeous effect. Beam’s clear high tenor soars to serene heights, surrounded by subtly layered background vocals. The songs shift from sunny invocations of the past (“Tree By the River”) to shadow-haunted narratives (“Rabbit Will Run”) and oblique cautionary tales (“Monkeys Uptown”). A warm spiritual glow lights up the enraptured “Walking Far from Home” and the delicately shimmering “Godless Brother In Love.” Unexpected sonic curve balls — like the funky, saxophone-accent groove of “Big Burned Hand” and the use of analog synthesizer sounds on numerous tracks — keep things pleasantly off-balance. The seven-minute “Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me” closes the album with jazzy wails and prophetic visions.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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Ratings and Reviews

3.8 out of 5
67 Ratings

67 Ratings

Petermusicfreak ,

You were happy for me

First review! Sam, we are happy for you brother. This album is beautiful and quite the transformation. Godless Brother in Love is a phenominal. Its nice to see that you are still making art and moving forward. Concept albums are a risk but you pulled it off. Thanks for coming to the Pabst to see us in Wisconsin. Keep on keeping on!

mediapeople ,

Sad Day

I think when you create a sound for yourself and change it so dramatically you run a risk. I am sure there are people who will love this but if you came here expecting what you have known as Iron and Wine make sure to preview the music before buying it. You may love it but this is not my cup of tea.

letdown fan ,

Seriously?

I love love LOVE Iron & Wine, but part of the reason I love them is their earthy, folk tones that are highlighted by beautiful lyrics. This album is garbage. The weird thing is I love electronic bands like Phoenix and Miike Snow so I don't understand why this attempt at electronic folk went so terribly.

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