|Iron & Wine / Ghost On Ghost|
|Add Date:||2013-05-27|| ||Pull Date:||2013-07-29|| |
|Week Ending:||28 Jul||21 Jul||14 Jul||7 Jul||30 Jun||23 Jun||16 Jun||9 Jun|
“Ghost on Ghost” Iron & Wine|
Samuel Beam’s fifth, full-length, studio CD. Started as a low-fi, indie folk artist in 2002, but has worked hard over the years to move and grow within the indie folk-rock genre. Some of Beam’s efforts work on this album; some don’t. But while the CD is inconsistent, the high points noted below make it well worth playing.
Recommended: 12, 5, 1, 4, 9, 2. No FCCs detected.
1. (3:12) Caught in the Briars — Fades in with disjointed playing as if from a band’s warm-up before the conductor arrives. Transitions into a light-as-air, bright, comfortable, and catchy tune reminiscent of Van Morrison at his most effortless. Only problem is the song’s too short, before somewhat jarring instrumental trail-out begins. ***
2. (3:27) The Desert Babbler — Dreamy or dreary? A Boz Scaggs’ slow dancer-like vibe with dance band brass and strings throughout. You may love this or not, but you can’t beat the opening lyric, “It’s New Year’s Eve and California’s gonna kill you soon...” **
3. (2:31) Joy — Waaayyy too middle of the road (MOR) for KZSU.
4. (3:30) Low Light Buddy of Mine — Syncopated, kinda jazzy beat. Saxophone prominent throughout. Raw, real Sam Beam. **
5. (3:36) Grace for Saints and Ramblers — Pulsing, fast-paced indie rock. Staccato drumming. Catchy bass line. Rapid-fire vocals. Excellent! ****
6. (2:53) Grass Widows — Slick, bluesy feel. Bass, saxophone, drums, and vibraphone support Beam’s lightly tripping vocals.
7. (3:39) Singers and the Endless Song — Distinctive, funky beat. Sharp stabs of brass. Good use of soulful harmonies.
8. (2:18) Sundown (Back in the Briars) — Brief interlude with shimmering background vocals as Beam once again calls to mind imagery from opening track.
9. (3:12) Winter Prayers — Slow, slightly haunting melody. Simple instrumentation: piano, guitar, bass, gentle rhythm. **
10. (4:28) New Mexico’s No Breeze — Up-tempo, smooth groove. Intricate bass line drives Beam’s vocals. Imagery recalls a ride in a convertible on Route 66 through the Southwest.
11. (5:40) Lovers’ Revolution — Another jazzy number that makes good use of brass elements.
12. (5:39) Baby Center Stage — Easy on the ears with a style that’s closer to the Iron & Wine of previous vintages. Just a hint of country with a mournful steel guitar. Very nice! ***