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coverpic flag US - Florida - Full Moon 104 - 03/25/05

Iron & Wine
Woman King EP
SubPop

Sam Beam could go on crafting quiet, subtle rustic folk music for as long as he's got a voice and a guitar. But it's good to know he's also got an ear for developing the lovely Iron & Wine sound.

This is thanks, in part, to the production of Brian Deck on last year's Our Endless Numbered Days. The difference between that and the debut The Creek Drank The Cradle is echoed in the progression to the new EP Woman King. There is a marked adoption of a strong rhythm section, a smattering of effects, and even some electric guitar (!).

Although hardly groundbreaking, this is a reassuring, enjoyable release. It's good to know Beam's songwriting is as good as ever, and I'm sure it'll be regarded as a turning point when he releases a new album later this year and it wows us all. I think there's an absolutely stunning Iron & Wine album in Sam Beam waiting to get out, one that isn't quite so mannered, so precise.

Woman King points exactly in the right direction.

Copyright © 2005 Tim Clarke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Iron & Wine article/review: The Shepherd's Dog.

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