Iron And Wine
Norfolk


4.0
excellent

Review

by Athom EMERITUS
June 9th, 2009 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sam Beam resplendent.

In 2005, Iron & Wine began to evolve from Sam Beam's sleepy bedroom recordings into a fully functioning folk-rock band. The Woman King EP, the first of two extended plays released that year to bear the Iron & Wine name, was Beam's first foray into incorporating not only a full band but electric instruments. This evolution would continue with the flashes of twangy Eagles-esque pop found on his collaboration with Calexico, In the Reins, and the 60's psychedelia influence found on 2007's The Shepherd's Dog.

For Record Store Day 2009, Iron & Wine released the limited run CD Norfolk. Recorded on the Woman King tour, it acts as a marker to close out the first half of Beam's career as a solo artist, while hinting at the sound that he would grow in to. On the recording Beam is backed by his band, although they only hit full stride for the more raucous tracks like "Lilith's Song" and the dusty Delta blues redux of "Free Until They Cut Me Down". On the songs culled from his earlier catalog, Beam serenades his audience with his beautifully hushed tones and gently finger-picked acoustic guitar just as he always has, but now with the addition of some light backing drums and new melodies due to the incorporation of the full band sound into his hazy southern anthems. Beam does save some of his songs from the band treatment, leaving the more delicate numbers like "Southern Anthem" and "Sunset Soon Forgotten" in their simplistic and bare natural beauty. Iron & Wine end their eighteen song set perfectly with "The Trapeze Swinger". Beam's alluring and reassuring vocals and the calming notes from his acoustic guitar outshine the original recording from the In Good Company soundtrack with a fuller, more vibrant sound. It is nothing short of perfect.

All in all, Norfolk is a delightful look back at the first few years of Iron & Wine and showcases many of the songs that made us fans of Sam Beam in the first place. The only downside to Norfolk is that due to its limited release it is rather hard to find, but it is definitely worth the search.



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user ratings (31)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Emeritus
June 9th 2009


17240 Comments


so yeah...

thebhoy
Emeritus
June 9th 2009


4463 Comments


cool, I didn't know this existed. Trapeze Swinger is a bit too long though.

gaslightanthem
June 9th 2009


5209 Comments


didn't know he was releasing another record this year will have to listen

Athom
Emeritus
June 9th 2009


17240 Comments


How is Trapeze Swinger too long??!! Song is flawless.

tckslchs
June 9th 2009


120 Comments


My friend loves the Trapeze Swinger. Is there any word about a new studio album by Iron and Wine?

tombits
June 10th 2009


3538 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's good to see a review for this. A lot of these versions outshine the originals, especially "The Night Descending", "On Your Wings" and "The Trapeze Swinger". I still need to review Around the Well.

BrahTheSunGod
September 29th 2009


1279 Comments


"Trapeze Swinger is a bit too long though."

Every second of it is breathtaking. It's definitely worth it to listen through it while looking at the lyrics; it's by far one of my all time favorite songs lyrically.

Kiran
Emeritus
November 10th 2009


6027 Comments


The Trapeze Swinger is the best Iron and Wine song. It's perfect.

ABjordanMM
March 14th 2013


1709 Comments


"How is Trapeze Swinger too long??!! Song is flawless."

yes.

"The Trapeze Swinger is the best Iron and Wine song. It's perfect."

yes.

Digging: mewithoutYou - [Untitled]



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