Friday, March 4, 2011
TIME ISN'T KIND OR UNKIND
i suppose the audience wag who yelled "traitor" at sam beam was just shivering at how clever AND ironic he was being in front of all those people. of course he didn't mean it. we've come a long way from having a folksinger cause any kind of commotion at all. nowadays, that sort of thing comes from the ladies & kanye.
there are enough excellent songs on iron & wine's new album, kiss each other clean, to give beam the benefit of the doubt about the other "experiments." his lyricism is still very much intact & most of the melodies support the extra instrumentation. the duds are really where he clutters things up just a bit too much or where he revisits a scene he's already explored on other albums.
dylan warmed up w/bringing it all back home & highway 61 revisited & then he dropped blonde on blonde. i'm not suggesting that beam is one of the many "new dylans" who come along every so often. i'm saying that the move from delicate quirky melodist to full-blown band leader is a tricky one & it usually involves some growing pains. this isn't new coke. it's a strong progression that depends on where he's been & what he's done but points towards new concerns & approaches.
i'll take what's good here & wait for his next move.
kiss each other clean iron & wine