Iron And Wine - Around The Well
Around The Well is the new 2-CD collection from Florida folky Sam Beam, AKA Iron & Wine. This mammoth set of twenty-three songs is comprised of out-of-print and previously unreleased material.
Over the course of four studio albums Iron & Wine has built a sizable and loyal fan base. I don't count myself among them.
I have always found Iron & Wine's brand of acoustic indie folk to be overly earnest and to put it bluntly, dull with no melody. There's little if anything on Around The Well that would lead me to change that opinion.
While any one of the album's tracks is enjoyable in isolation, listening to the entire record from front to back is a chore. Mumbled or otherwise inaudible vocals mask any song crafting that may be present, while the instrumentation feels like an afterthought for Beam as he sleepwalks through the songs.
A pair of tepid covers, The Flaming Lips' "Waitin' On a Superman" and The Postal Services' "Such Great Heights", do little to spice up the bland fare.
There is the odd memorable moment though. "Peng!" includes a Byrds-inspired vocal harmony, while "Belated Promise Ring" shows some pep. "Serpent Charmer" provides an intriguing cobra-in-a-basket groove.
I've probably been a little bit harsh on the album, as this is not my favorite style of music. If you like your music at a snail pace and murmur volume you will likely love Around The Well.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.
on 2009-08-18 mountaloha Said:
I thought the second cd was incredible. You have to understand that both cd's together show a progression in sound over the years. "Belated Promsie Ring" is the kind of Iron and Wine I enjoy to listen to.