Our Endless Numbered Days CD
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Top Customer Reviews
I say all this because with "Our Endless Numbered Days" that's exactly what you get. The songs are simply, yet beautifully constructed. "She says wake up, it's no use pretending, I keep stealing, breathing her" Sam Beam almost whispers, as if giving volume to his words would take away their meaning. "One of us will spread our ashes round the yard" - a poignant reminder that no-one is here forever. The rest of the album continues in the same vein, gently nudging at your emotions as each song passes.
"Sunset Soon Forgotten", "Naked As We Came", and the exceptional "Love and Some Verses" deserve a special mention.
A wonderful album.
Comparisons with Will Oldham are valid, but his work is far starker and strung out, and his voice lacks the pleasant rounded edges of Beams. There are hints of the Handsome Family, Willard Grant Conspiracy, and Elliot Smith and in some of the wonderful guitar work Nick Drake. When the songs are as stunningly written as "Naked as we Came" and "Sunset Soon Forgotten" they achieve an aura of spectral aching lambency.
Normally an album as one paced as "Our Endless Numbered Days" would pall after half a dozen tracks but the only track which drags is the relatively short "Radio War" which is basically a two minute one chord strum. Overall this an imperturbable treat and the only reason I haven't given it full marks is because it lacks the diverse dynamic I in my stubborn way insist all great albums should have. Other than that it's more or less flawless.
'Endless Numbered Days' moves on from the achievement of 'The Creek...' musically and lyrically whilst retaining the bittersweet mood created by Beam's haunting vocals. It turns out in fact that 2003's starkly engaging 'Sea & the Rhythm EP' was a good example of what was to follow.
Although there are no sweeping changes in style this album has its surprises (the full band that kicks in at the end of the 'On Your Wings' is as shocking as it is brilliant if you're a fan of the earlier material). Just as 'Creek..' this album couples gently grooving country guitar/banjo workouts (Teeth In The Grass) with moments of aching beauty (Fever Dream, Radio War) but also covers new ground in the dark love songs (Naked As We Came, Love & Some Verses), unsettling as they are emotional.
Of course there are comparisons to Will Oldham but there is a key difference in that I&W exude a pastoral sincerity that the 'Prince' has only touched on in certain songs (e.g. 'I see a Darkness', 'Agnes Queen of Sorrow').
The most obvious dimension Iron & Wine and Oldham share is the depth of their lyrical content and I don't think it would be out of order to suggest that Johnny Cash would have approached one of Sam Beam's compositions with the same enthusiasm he applied to his cover of 'I See A Darkness'. However, if you wanted to draw parallels with other artists you'll be at it all day so rich are Beam's creations.Read more ›
Songs like 'Fever Dream' and 'Naked As We Came' are just stripped down songs about love to absorb yourself in; all simple melodies and caring lyrics. He's definitely moved on from previous album 'The Creek Drank The Cradle' which suffered from repitition for me, and whilst I dont think Beam will ever be anyone's favourite singer/songwriter, his albums are like a walk in a nice forest; not something you want to overdo but something you can always rely on for a nice, different and thoughtful experience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is lovely. How I found This album was spotify/browse/mood/ Afternoon Acoustics. The album great listen. Going to be played a lot Has very good sound Quality. Read morePublished 10 months ago by music_lover
Great voice, great author, nice cover with great cover material. Miss the 2 bonus songs it says that contains in the albumPublished on 15 May 2013 by Joao Dias
There is something about the release of new album that often sends you back to older ones and rekindles a spark. Read morePublished on 3 May 2013 by Red on Black
Not sure if all the tracks are a hit but for the most part this is pretty cool.
This really is a special album. I'm a big Iron & Wine fan and this is the album I return to most. The songs reveal themselves slowly and subtly. Read morePublished on 5 Sept. 2011 by pbgeary
Been meaning to buy something by Iron and Wine for years. Finally got round to it and realised I had really had been missing out on something. Read morePublished on 11 July 2011 by Mrs. S. Holland
I came across this band because I had watched the Twilight Films. I was so pleased to have found this band - its a really good album - that goes for pratically all the tracks. Read morePublished on 15 April 2010 by Sandy