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The Shepherd's Dog CD


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Amazon's Iron & Wine Store

Music

Image of album by Iron & Wine

Photos

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Biography

Over the course of his ten-year career, Iron and Wine's Sam Beam has become one of today's greatest story tellers, crafting meticulous tales full of forlorn love, religious imagery and wistful dreams. Many fell in love with Iron and Wine Beam's tender and spare rendering of The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" was featured on the Garden State soundtrack in 2002. ... Read more in Amazon's Iron & Wine Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Sept. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Warner
  • ASIN: B000VLE3DS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,963 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car (Album) 4:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. White Tooth Man (Album) 3:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Lovesong of the Buzzard (Album) 4:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Carousel (Album) 4:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. House By the Sea (Album) 4:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Innocent Bones (Album) 3:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Wolves (Song of the Shepherd's Dog) (Album) 4:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Resurrection Fern (Album) 4:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Boy With a Coin (Album) 4:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. The Devil Never Sleeps (Album) 2:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Peace Beneath the City (Album) 4:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Flightless Bird, American Mouth (Album) 4:02£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

Deeply sensual, richly pastoral, The Shepherd's Dog is a slow-burning late summer treat. Sam Beam's second album is assured and confident. Beam (his nom de disque taken from a dietary supplement named Beef Iron & Wine), a former professor of Film and Cinematography at Miami International University of Art & Design, is something of a word-of-mouth find. Some may know him from his work with Calexico; others from his cover of the Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" which has been used in various adverts and in the 2004 cult hit movie, Garden State.

Understatement here is the order of the day. Beam said in a recent interview that The Shepherd's Dog is 'not a political propaganda record, but it's definitely inspired by political confusion, because I was really taken aback when Bush got re-elected'. This confusion of an America adrift is addressed throughout the album, yet never at the expense of a cracking tune. Some of these songs have been around for a while: "Boy With A Coin", "House by the Sea" and "The Love Song Of The Buzzard" have been in his live set. The late night elegance of "Carousel", musically a cross between "Entangled" by Genesis and "Runaways" by XTC is eerie and affecting. The interlocking hi-life guitars of "Wolves (Song Of The Shepherd's Dog)" and the rambunctious opener "Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car" show the breadth of Beam's musical palette.

Soothing and sinister at the same time, The Shepherd's Dog deserves to sit sweetly in the year end polls. --Daryl Easlea

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Demob Happy on 1 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Shepherd's Dog is a significant departure for Sam Beam and judging from the other customer reviews it is not going to be an easy transition for a large bulk of his fans. However, if like me you were not particularly enamoured to his old style - stripped down folk in the mold of Bonnie Prince Billy - you might (and should) love this dizzying, vivid album. After listening to this towering achievement a couple of times one suspects that the detractors of Beam's reinvention are the same puritanical types who complained when Bob Dylan went electric. He has made an album that bucks all expectations while sacrificing none of his singularity of vision; both organic and layered with the precision of a studio perfectionist. Don't listen to the luddites, this is unmissable.

The opener 'Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car', swells from a looped alt-country twang into swinging kaliedoscopic pop replete with vocal harmonies, piano, strings and little backwards psychedelic effects. As with his acoustic work, Beam relies less on traditional verse-chorus-verse structures than on cyclical lyrics, both poetic and anecdotal. The genious of this album is the way his unusual lyrical style is echoed in the experimental energies of the music, looping and slightly trance-like but not without a pop sensibility. Although Beam has a voice so soft and whispery it makes Belle & Sebastien sound like ruffians, he overcomes the limits of his vocal range by using his voice as an instrument (albeit one that carries obscure narratives). His voice plays off the musicianship in a call-and-response that's by turns cheerful and scarily intense, sometimes thickening it with double-track or assistance from backing vocalists.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marley's Ghost on 3 Sept. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Sam Beam's introspective and minamalist songs of the first two albums are still hidden away here, but his collaboration with Calexico seems to have given him a kick up the backside. From somewhere he's found his groove, and it's one hell of a gettin'-it-on kinda groove. At one point he even manages a smattering of dub. The album is littered with Premier League class tracks, my own favourites being "House By The Sea", "Wolves (Song of the Shepherds Dog)", "Boy With A Coin", "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" and the absolutely gorgeous "Resurrection Fern".

This has GOT to be the breakthrough album, or I'm a monkey's uncle. It will sell like the proverbial hot-cakes so get your copy while it's on the shelves. It's not album of the year (For my money that's still Panda Bear's "Person Pitch") but its cast iron top five.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By degrant on 3 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Hearing the Shepherd's Dog, and comparing it to previous releases (especially debut album And the Creek Drank the Cradle) brought to mind my reaction on listening both to the Tindersticks' second album a decade ago or Joanna Newson's Ys last year. In each case a bigger-sounding album made me revise my view of the simpler-sounding predecessor. No matter how good the first album was, the new release sounds much better and reveals the limitations of the predecessor. While the reviews thus far have shown a divide between the Judas crowd and those amenable to musical progress I am firmly in the latter camp.

That is not to say that The Shepherd's Dog is a masterpiece. It isn't and, in the blues interlude Devil Never Sleeps, contains at least one song which would be better left off. However it is a much richer and rewarding album while still unmistakably an Iron and Wine release. Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car begins proceedings brilliantly and sets the scene. Throughout, the album has an Indian feel at times reminding me of the Byrds and, on occasions the Blue Aeroplanes in some of their folkier moments and, in the penultimate Peace Beneath the City, like New Adventures In Hi Fi-era REM.

Sam Beam's voice is immediately recognisable but while on, especially, And the Creek Drank the Cradle it stood out against a stately, quiet backing, here it is intertwined with an array of musical effects and textures against which it fares favourably.

At first I thought Boy With A Coin was an odd choice for a single but it has grown on me, based on short vocal lines, hypnotic clapping, haunting pedal steel and nimble percussion.

The album ends beautifully with the intriguingly-titled Flightless Bird. American Mouth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Demob Happy on 1 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Shepherd's Dog is a significant departure for Sam Beam and judging from the other customer reviews it is not going to be an easy transition for a large bulk of his fans. However, if like me you were not particularly enamoured to his old style - stripped down folk in the mold of Bonnie Prince Billy - you might (and should) love this dizzying, vivid album. After listening to this towering achievement a couple of times one suspects that the detractors of Beam's reinvention are the same puritanical types who complained when Bob Dylan went electric. He has made an album that bucks all expectations while sacrificing none of his singularity of vision; both organic and layered with the precision of a studio perfectionist. Don't listen to the luddites, this is unmissable.

The opener 'Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car', swells from a looped alt-country twang into swinging kaliedoscopic pop replete with vocal harmonies, piano, strings and little backwards psychedelic effects. As with his acoustic work, Beam relies less on traditional verse-chorus-verse structures than on cyclical lyrics, both poetic and anecdotal. The genious of this album is the way his unusual lyrical style is echoed in the experimental energies of the music, looping and slightly trance-like but not without a pop sensibility. Although Beam has a voice so soft and whispery it makes Belle & Sebastien sound like ruffians, he overcomes the limits of his vocal range by using his voice as an instrument (albeit one that carries obscure narratives). His voice plays off the musicianship in a call-and-response that's by turns cheerful and scarily intense, sometimes thickening it with double-track or assistance from backing vocalists.
Read more ›
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