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Around The Well

Around The Well

18 May 2009
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Around The Well
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"Around the Well" is a substantial compilation of B-sides, unreleased tracks and rarities that span the entire career of Iron and Wine thus far. It is a most welcome offering for us listeners to feast upon whilst waiting for the next album proper. In fact, it's one of the best compilations I've heard in some time (up there with Elliot Smith's "New Moon", dare I say it).

Over the course of 2 CD's, we hear clearly the evolution of the Iron and Wine sound. Disc one focuses on the early, lo-fi home recordings that were built around just acoustic guitar, slide guitar and Sam Beam's breezy whisper of a voice. Disc two presents the more polished and embellished but no less beautiful material of later years.

Highlights on disc one include "Morning", with its honeyed harmonies and intricate guitar picking. "Peng!33" is a Stereolab tune that Sam Beam interprets to stunning effect, making it his own. "Hickory" is another light, airy melody that evokes Texan landscapes. "Such Great Heights", that closes the disc, is so melodically powerful and intimate that it causes me to well up with tears!

On disc two, the differences are immediately apparent, with the presence of percussion, bass and piano and even a vaguely warped synthesiser (on "Arms of a Thief").
Highlights on this disc include "Belated Promise Ring", an upbeat, jaunty, buoyant piece that features a rather fetching piano solo. "God Made the Automobile",meanwhile, is astonishing, with a killer melody and charming "ooo-whoo" backing vocals. Elsewhere, we have "Serpent Charmer", a bongo-driven barnstormer. "Love Vigilantes" is a worthy rendition of a New Order classic. "The Trapeze Swinger", the album's closing tune, lasts for an epic ten minutes and not a moment is wasted.
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Wow! If this is merely a collection of "B sides" just imagine what all his other recordings are like!!
This is a beautiful album, from the wonderful lyrics telling many true to life stories to the simple strumming and rhthym of the guitar playing.
Only recently came across Iron and Wine, but I'm gradually adding more to my collection. So inspired by this music that I'm planning a return trip to the US.
Very highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Have a few Iron and Wine CD's, this one I got primarily for the 'Trapeze Swinger' the last song on the 2nd CD, which is a great song, and this is a really good version. The rest of the CD is just as good, quite mellow, but upbeat at the same time. Really glad I have added this album to my CD collection. Would recommend to all Iron and Wine fans, or those who have yet to become fans:)
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Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent double cd (triple lp) by Iron & Wine of early and unreleased songs. If you like your lyrics to be strong and your music handcrafted then add this to your collection.
It is lo-fi but certainly not elevator music. Sam Beam beautifully crafts his music. As it is early pieces you go on a journey with him as he becomes more confident in his songwriting.
His other records tend to have themes around them however as this is a collection just enjoy one man, his guitar and some friends.
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Often, an artist produces a few good albums, and then releases a B-sides/rarities compilation to plug the album gap, often due to a lack of new, strong material. Not so here! This absolutely brilliant compilation, essential for any Iron and Wine follower and recommended to anyone interested in subtle, lyrical music, is full of the soft, understated, aching beautiful songs that Iron and Wine has become revered for over the years.

The early tracks on the album bring back the earthy tones of Beam's brilliantly understated debut The Creek Drank The Cradle - "Dearest forsaken' is a highlight. Then, at the end of a journey from here through some of the most intimate and intelligent folk songs recently written, we have the epic, extremely poignant 'The Trapeze Singer', a ballad about lost love and nostalgic, aching memories.

Beam really shows his skill and originality in making all his songs relatively similar in form and content, yet allowing each one to stand on its own as a literary, evocative piece. This is essential stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
simply put iron&wines b-sides and cast offs are better than most other artists albums great value double cd alsowith lovely artwork
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Format: Audio CD
I enjoyed listening to Shepards Dog, despite most people not liking so much the experimental approach in the album, so i was all ears for the new compilation of old recordings and new sounds. Around The Well was a winner for me, i've loved listening to the old crackly sound of the voices and acoustic guitar together, hence the five star rating.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
This for me is the finest hour of Iron and Wine. The lyrics are superb and the deep, lo-fi Americana music is beautiful. I hope Iron and Wine return to making this kind of music as the last two albums just didn't cut it form me. My favourite track is the 'Trapeze Swinger'. If you like Ray La Montagne's earlier music, like 'Shelter' and William Fitzsimmons then this is the album for you.
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