What a beautiful, beautiful album! It has been quite a while, with the exception of Damien Rice's and Teitur's debuts, than a first CD offered such creative consistency. Sam Beam, the man behind Iron and Wine, has achieved a work of such unassuming depth that is impossible not to grow impatient for a second recording. Song after song, he manages to convey moods that are at once tender and full of existential pain, without ever indulging on the way too common tendency in young songwriters to put music to their private diaries, nor indulging on the kind of over-instrumentation that not-so-young performers indulge in to make up for the lack of richness in their work. I don't think there's a single weak tune here, actually some of his lesser tunes could be the jewels in CDs by most of his contemporaries. To some he might remind you of Will Oldham, a likely mentor, yet his work has already a feel of its own. This Americana stripped from clichÃ©s, bringing together longing, sweetness and the lingering sense of someone reflecting on life without a 'an ax to grind' (this is the difference between poetry and a personal journal). I was tempted to name the great songs but after typing the name of the first four, and realizing that the fifth song will be next, I deleted them. Every song is worthwhile, and adds to the hue of emotions he's so able to articulate. In some ways, it is my opinion, he may remind you of Nick Drake, in his capacity to write of sadness so beautifully that it can almost embrace you, like joy.