Seth Degner Staff Writer
Having heard almost every song that Sam Beam and Iron and Wine have ever done, I don’t see how he can top himself anymore. This being said, I feel like this album has sent me down a rabbit hole that I don’t want to get out of. From the first run on “Caught in the Briars”, he transports you to someplace that is simple, but complex, and just for you. This place has meaning, and everyone sees it different, that’s what makes you want to keep listening. “Back alleys full of rain, and everything shining, as holy as she can be, the trick’s in the timing.” At some point you have seen this back alley, and its dirty and beautiful at the same time. Love is the the “she”, and its a trick that you can’t live without.
The change from song to song is chaos that will string you along just to see where you will be taken. From up beat fluid, almost pop. To banging and crazy percussion, then slow in-depth play on every word in a song back to fast poppy rhyming fun music. It’s all over the place, but not in a way that puts you off to the music. More like in the way that you get used to one style then Sam flips you on your head and says “No”.
One of the best parts about all of Beam’s songs are that his lyrics sound like a mix of a conspiracy nut and your grandfather’s story of his life. “And we were tapping on the window of the children when the piggy-bank broke. Pitching quite a fit. But how the makers of the medicine will always say you’re looking sick.” That is one line from “Lovers’ Revolution” it seems like nothing, like it has no place in a song, but it starts the whole song with a slow pace that grows into a swinging dark mess. A mess of line after line of meaningful, confusing, thought provoking cacophony of life, and how we (all of us) destroy it, rebuild it, live it and take it for granted. This is the same for every song Beam has ever written. He writes it and lets you find your own meaning in what he made almost like it’s tailor made for you.
After all that is said, there is a point were I wanted to fast forward a few songs. Towards the end, Sam seems to want to go back to just him and a guitar, like the rest of his albums have been, up till “Kiss Each Other Clean” his previous album. It almost takes the whole project and makes you want to put it back while saying “You tried, I had fun… Thanks?” But right as you say that Sam comes back and wraps up the album with his same flowing transfixing style. The style that makes you know that this is something that you should take to heart because everything comes full circle. You can feel it came from his heart so that it could go into yours.