Iron and Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days

Iron and WineThere’s a number of albums that I’ve dubbed “Hangover albums”; something you can put on that won’t give you a splitting headache. True, a lot of the stuff I listen to will give you a headache no matter how much booze you’ve consumed the night before. The first two Iron and Wine albums fall into this category, as they’re both filled with gentle and soothing acoustic songs. The wonderful thing about the first album “Creek Drank The Cradle” was that it was composed of demos, recorded at home and sent to Sub Pop records. Pick the best of them and release them as an album and you’re set. For this record, the label got Sam Beam into a studio to record the followup.

The recording dynamics have changed, but the methods have not. The songs on this album are still quiet, hushed and intimate, as if Sam Beam himself is sitting at the end of your bed strumming away. “Cinder and Smoke” has a repeating motif that stuck in my head, especially with the closing harmonies. “Naked As We Came” is maybe the simplest thing and maybe the most lovely track on the album with it’s beautiful male/female vocals. Indeed it’s the shorter tracks like “Radio War” and “Teeth In The Grass” that leave the more lasting impression.

In fact, the edition of the album I bought had a bonus disc of demo’s that were recorded in the same way as the first album. It’s really interesting to hear the difference in dynamics of the same songs, but both sound wonderful. This is an easy to listen to album; for me it’s the musical equivalent of a warm bed.

Iron and Wine – Naked As We Came:

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