On sale Friday, February 20 at Noon.
The last that we heard form Iron and Wine was the six songs comprising Woman King released in 2005. (This doesn’t include the collaborative In the Reins EP which featured songs by Iron and Wine’s Sam Beam and performances by both Iron and Wine and Calexico together.) What distinguished Woman King from its predecessors was the deepening integration of spiraling, dense opuses (“Gray Stables,” “Evening on the Ground (Lilith’s Song)”) with intimate confessionals (“Jezebel,” “My Lady’s House”).
On The Shepherd’s Dog this integration is complete. Compositionally, it is Iron and Wine’s most ambitious and accomplished recording to date. It’s also the most satisfying.
While many of us learned of Iron and Wine by way of Sam Beam’s tender and spare rendering of The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” on the Garden State soundtrack, those who dug deeper discovered a classic American tunesmith with a precocious musical signature. Songs like “Lion’s Mane,” “Jesus the Mexican Boy” and “Naked as We Came” are remarkable demonstrations of craft; musically memorable, lyrically evocative and casually atmospheric.
Added by toastcowboy on February 19, 2009