Review: Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean

Artist: Iron & Wine
Album: Kiss Each Other Clean
Genre: Folk/Indie
Label: Warner Bros.

Having built an organic, music driven fan base since 2002’s The Creek Drank The Cradle, Sam Beam, under the moniker Iron And Wine, has established a career for himself that’s allowed for experimentation without fear of rejection. Where many musicians cling to the sound of their initial release for fear of losing their following, Beam has chosen only to evolve and the results are undeniable. His latest release, Kiss Each Other Clean, continues this tradition in what may be Beam’s greatest effort to date.

More so than any release before it, Beam uses Kiss Each Other Clean to experiment with and expand upon his signature sound. From the near lucid experience that is “Walking Far From Home,” to the walking bass line of “Monkeys Uptown,” Kiss finds Beam doing as he pleases from song to song, yet somehow still managing a level of musical cohesion even the most cookie cutter of rock bands can’t seem to get right. “Tree By The River,” a song more akin to previous releases sound wise, carries a driving four on the floor tempo that I would say deserves single release, but songs this good aren’t meant for the disregard of the masses. No, this is the kind of great songwriting and true musicianship intended for true music lovers. It’s not a face value song (or album), it lures you in with simplicity and unravels into a unique musical journey on each and every track.

Outside of his daunting tour schedule, I’ll admit to being slightly unaware of just what has happened in the life of Sam Beam since the 2007 release of The Shepherd’s Dog. Perhaps it was the critical praise, larger than ever live audience, or maybe just another tale of musical evolution, but regardless, Beam has returned bigger and better than ever. Kiss Each Other Clean is a subtle journey of folk and experimentation taken to all the right places without once straying too far from home. Beam has somehow managed to find the perfect creative balance and it’s more than enough to keep you coming back again and again.

Score: 9.5/10
Review written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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