Iron and Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog (Sub Pop)

iron.jpgThe logical next step for Sam Beam (aka Iron and Wine) was to create a band around his intimate Drakean crooning. On the “Shepherd’s Dog” he has fulfilled the promise alluded to on the a few of his latest EP’s where he actually almost seems to be “rocking.” From the very first tune “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car” he spins a kind of Americana groove, filled with strings, guitars and drums somewhere between The Band and his sometimes partners Calexico. All of this is accompanied by his silky vocals, but infused with a sense of wonderful sense of urgency that makes these songs such a sensible evolution of his unique brand of alt-folk.

It would be hard to think of a song more satisfying than “Lovesong of the Buzzard” an earnest organ driving romp through the open fields of your life or the kind of hypnotic tone set on “Wolves.” Ultimately this record represents a step perhaps towards the big warm sound of Wilco, but still drenched in something smaller and personal

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