IRON AND WINE – The Shepherd’s Dog (2007)

Review by: Viudas Tormo
Album assigned by: Jonathan Hopkins

Iron and Wine. Such an interesting name, such a bad mixed drink.

“The Shepherd’s Dog”, besides being one of the most iconic figures of rural life, is the title of their third album. And I use “they” even though I could get away with “he”, as this is Sam Beam project. 

Sam Beam is a guy that was doing folk and sporting a huge beard before it was cool and way before it was hideous. In fact, his two first full length records (2002 and 2004) were trending and very interesting. 

With a voice sounding as a very very relaxed Graham Nash and nice fingerpicked guitar melodies surrounding it, those efforts were really enjoyable.

The third album, as every third album should do, tries to experiment and grow the original sound of the project. For Sam Beam, that basically meant to produce a fuller outcome for the listener. 

Probably, the most noticeable novelty in their sound was rhythmic. The drums, displaying an open sound, put Iron and Wine in motion.

Now that they are walking a little bit faster, the album gets busy with delivering songs each one with an individual identity in their own.

Sam Beam singing doesn’t offer anything really new, but it works for the same fellows that it worked last time, specially on tracks like “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” or “Resurrection Fern”.

For your humble servant, this record is forgettable, but if you dig the band, you probably have it in your shelf by now.