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The Shepherd's Dog
 
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The Shepherd's Dog

23 Sep 2007 | Format: MP3

£4.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £19.50 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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30
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4:32
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3:56
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4:26
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4:02
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4:21
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3:42
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2:06
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4:02

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 23 Sep 2007
  • Release Date: 23 Sep 2007
  • Label: Transgressive Records
  • Copyright: 2007 Sub Pop Records under exclusive license to Transgressive Records Ltd.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 49:43
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001L9JSIY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,017 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marley's Ghost on 3 Sep 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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