5 songs recorded in Sam Beam's bedroom from the same sessions that gave us 2002's The Creek Drank the Cradle. The Sea and the Rhythm includes "Jesus the Mexican Boy," which has been a big audience favorite at recent Iro... more »n and Wine shows.« less
5 songs recorded in Sam Beam's bedroom from the same sessions that gave us 2002's The Creek Drank the Cradle. The Sea and the Rhythm includes "Jesus the Mexican Boy," which has been a big audience favorite at recent Iron and Wine shows.
"First of all, I do not understand how some of the other reviewers could say that "Jesus, the Mexican boy" is a bad song. I guess it's just a taste thing, but I think it's one of the strongest on this EP. Sure it's not a song that's gonna "raise the roof" but that's not why I listen to Iron and Wine to begin with. The song is a beautiful poetic parable about his friendship with Jesus, the Mexican boy, and how he betrayed Jesus, but was forgiven. And as for the reviewer that called this album "JUNK," well, to be honest, that makes me sad. Sad that this person just doesn't get it.Now that my temporary rant is over, I'll accually talk about the EP as a whole. When I bought this EP, I was hesitant at first, because it was only five songs, but I bought it anyway. That night I was up late framing some paintings and I just put it on loop and played it for about 5 hours. Now you'd think I'd get tired of the same five songs for five hours, but I didn't. Actually, I bought this before I had ever heard "The Creek Drank the Cradle," and I thought, "if this is what they left off of the first one, I've got to hear it." I was not disappointed at all, and haven't been by "Our Endless Numbered Days" either. I would recommend that anyone who is into layed back, beautiful, poetic, acoustic music buy all of Iron and Wine's albums. You will not be disappointed. However, if you are someone who absolutely adores what you hear on pop radio and on vh1, maybe you're not up to it. And for the record, I only gave it four stars because lately I've been saving my five stars for completely ground breaking, "change my life" sort of albums."
Where has Sam Beam been all my life?
Lauren Mitchell | Asheville, NC | 09/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I listen to this EP like it's my job. I don't remember bedtime without it. It fits the mood, it spends time with you, it calms your frazzled nerves and lets you know that everything will be okay again. It is an essential in your collection of mellow music. It is what downtempo was meant to be. It is literate, wise, simple, and, most important in the sparse-music genre, it is complete."
"Someday the Waves Will Stop"
Blackberries | PA | 02/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Length - 21:16
The brilliant Floridian Sam Beam, aka Iron and Wine, had displayed his lush, porchlight lullabies magnificently on Iron and Wine's debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle. The Sea and the Rhythm divagates through the same wayworn roads, but with an augmented sense of wistfulness and desolation. Another reviewer propounded that this EP will make listeners who are more concerned with lyrics very happy. The lyrics are, without a doubt, indelibly beautiful; but depreciating the music by sparing it a mention lucidly personifies ignorance. The delicate acoustics are as much a part of the poetry as the words themselves. Without the lilting glow of a banjo and a guitar, seemingly strummed by divine fingers, Jesus the Mexican Boy and Someday the Waves would be nothing more than average ballads. The Night Descending, for example, offers such pensive lines as "Met a man with missing fingers/Shaking hands with shaded strangers/Far too strong to pacify you/Ain't no telling what they're up to", but conflated with the hokey, O Brother Where Art Thou?-ish country jangle, a lackluster track is rendered. Thankfully that is the only number with parts not adding up to a cohesive whole (hence my rating of 4 stars, 4 exceptional pieces). The opening duo of songs that I've yet to mention are both very well done. The mysterious opener Beneath the Balcony foreshadows the dense lyrical tapestry that is woven in somber stitching through the course of the EP. The eponymously titled second number is a sultry love song in the purest sense..."Our hands they seek the end of afternoon/My hands believe and move over you". All in all, The Sea & the Rhythm airily transcends its earthly figures of 21 minutes and 9 dollars in a meek, self-effacing manner. Not monetarily, but soulfully, it shares a brief composition that will pull at your heartstrings and leave you wondering, how can a man come to create such music?"
Poetry in ocean
Geoffrey S. Hineman | Traverse City, MI United States | 11/07/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As the springboard for the Seattle movement of the early `90s, Sup Pop Records has long been viewed as purveyors of all things lo-fi and hi-volume. Lately, however, they've been recruiting a roster of more diverse acts. Sam Beam, the one-man show known as Iron & Wine, is a brilliant example.The Sea & the Rhythm is a five-song E.P. of songs that didn't fit on Beam's debut album The Creek Drank the Cradle. While these songs were recorded in Beam's own house, the sounds-in all their acoustic glory-share an overwhelming outdoor feeling. The guitar strumming, banjo picking, and mandolin lines decorating this disc would be right at home on the front porch, around the campfire, or on a breezy summer morning at the beach.The real magic on this disc, however, comes from the mouth of Beam himself, both in terms of lyrics and delivery. His voice simply whispers, at times approaching a Neil Young quality, only better; and Beam's lyrics are pure magic. I've not heard more poetic lyrics from any artist in the last 15 years. If you're a listener who's more into words than the music, you've got a new reason to be happy."Jesus the Mexican Boy" is a standout track on the first listen. It tells the tale of unconditional friendship between a narrator and Jesus, the Mexican boy. They grow up together and their friendship holds true through the eloping of the narrator and Jesus' sister. For a listen, you can download the mp3 at subpop.com.Although the whole disc clocks in at just 21:21, you'll want to listen to three times in a row each time you throw it in the player. It's just that good."
I'm lovin' it!
blindaphex | Brisbane, QLD Australia | 10/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An EP well-worth shelling out for.Is Sam Beam the new Nick Drake? These five songs are just as beautiful as the ones that made 'The Creek Drank The Cradle'. I love the quiet intensity of his voice, the perfect rhythm of the twin-tracked acoustic guitars and the truly unique ring of his lyrics.If you liked his debut this one is definitely worth shelling out for. If you feel like digging into some soft, well written music then come get some.j."