2011 - A year in review.

# 10. Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
(4AD, January 25th 2011)

Sam Beam and his Iron & Wine always have to work a tad bit harder to get into this lists of mine, and that is just really unfair of me. The reason simply is that I fell hard in love with the music of Iron & Wine on their album Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop, 2004) and in my mind, nothing Iron & Wine make now can ever top that album. A bit unfair don't you say? I have it like that with a couple of albums and a couple of artists. I still like the music they have made since though, very much so. I have to admit that I have been a bit sceptical to the more jammy, african-inspired direction of the last couple of albums, but this time around I think they have gotten this band-feeling to really gel.

Sam Beam said in some interviews before the release of this album that he was aiming for the kind of sound that came out of the radio when he was growing up in the seventies. I think they have nailed that sound completely, while still managing to sound like the album was made in 2011. The album starts off with the absolutely stunning and unparallelable "Walking Far From Home", hands down one of the best songs of the whole year, maybe ever. Single number two, "Tree by the River", is another favourite of mine.

I listened a lot to this album upon its release, but couldn't quite wrap my head around it. I really liked it, but it didn't blow me away in any way. Then I listened to some of  the songs over the course of the year, before I picked up again in late november - and boy had the album grown. Now I listen to it all the time again and I think it is one of the best albums Iron & Wine have released. A lot of great playing and really outstanding arrangements to every song - and that soothing voice of Sam Beam, well he can sing me to sleep every night. I plan to some day hire him and just have him sitting in a corner in my living room just singing his beautiful songs every day. I bet that won't happen though.

Iron & Wine - Godless Brother in Love (Official video)