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Our Endless Numbered Days CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Aug. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B0001ENX54
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,221 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. On Your Wings
  2. Naked As We Came
  3. Cinder and Smoke
  4. Sunset Soon Forgotten
  5. Teeth in the Grass
  6. Love and Some Verses
  7. Radio War
  8. Each Coming Night
  9. Free Until They Cut Me Down
  10. Fever Dream
  11. Sodom
  12. South Georgia
  13. Passing Afternoon

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When an album is made of songs that sound as though personal experiences and thoughts have been an influence it's always a bonus. The more you listen to the lyrics, the more you connect with the songs and this makes it all the more enjoyable.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
What a little quiet gem this album is. Stark almost meditative offerings sung with understated warmth and whispered restraint by Sam Beam. Exquisitely plucked acoustic guitars provide the majority of the musical backing, There's the occasional banjo, pedal steel and a full band kicks in at the end of "On your Wings" and "Love and Some Verses". Some of the songs have scuffed female backing vocals but essentially that's about it. Its still a compelling listen helped by the slowly percolating melodies vivid arrangements and beautifully crafted lyrics. These are songs about love, death and err that's about it, but Nick Cave didn't go too far wrong singing about love and death all the time. On this album neither does Sam Beam.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
Miami Cinematography teacher Sam Beam is one man who has good reason to give up his day job. With Iron & Wine's second full length release Sam builds on on the blend of country, bluegrass and torch song melancholy he so perfectly embodied in The Creek Drank The Cradle.
'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.
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Format: Audio CD
The 'one bloke with an acoustic and a bucket of tunes' bus is surely getting a little crowded, but Sam Beam, a lecturer from Florida who makes up Iron & Wine's studio line-up, gets by thanks to being perhaps the quietest of them all. Singing in a mid whisper, and almost always just with his guitar, he writes simple slow summery songs about life. So of course, that means he's reflective, wistful, has songs about love, but the great thing is the low volume really does create a rare sense of constant intimacy. Honest.

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.
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