7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: In The Reins (Audio CD)
This a great CD. He Lays in the Reins (Track 1) is terrific. The melody is haunting, floating on Sam Beams vocals and harmonies, reinforced with guitars and pianos. Oh yes, and there’s a Mexican spanking out an interlude “Pavarotti style” half way through. Lovely.
It’s fascinating to see the kinds of influences that you can conjure up for this EP. For instance, several tracks have a strong Jazz influence (I guess from Calexico) – particularly Burn that Broken Bed, which is reminiscent of David Sylvian during his Brilliant Trees / Secrets of the Beehive period. On Red Dust, on the other hand, it’s as though Ben Harper and Talk Talk decided to write a track together – with funky guitars, wild harmonica solos, and great melody of course. These kinds of comparisons are odd, because Iron and Wine’s more usual comparisons are probably with the likes of the Great Lake Swimmers, Northern and Western, Mark Kozelek, and Sufjan Stevens. All the remaining songs have charm, displaying more obvious signs of their country origins – with great lyrics playing a major role in making tracks like Prison on Route 41, and Sixteen, Maybe Less stand out.
I’m not sure about Calexico, so I guess I’ll need to explore their music now. However, if you like this album you’ll certainly enjoy the rest of Sam Beam’s work as Iron and Wine.