Ghost On Ghost CD (2013)

Artist: Iron & Wine

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Product Overview


Label Nonesuch Records
SKU 248377258
UPC 075597959666
UPC 14 00075597959666
Format CD
Release Date 4/16/2013
Author Iron & Wine
Compilation Appearance Garden State
Compilation Appearance I'm Not There (Soundtrack)
Compilation Appearance Dark Was The Night
Compilation Appearance Friday Night Lights
Compilation Appearance We Walk the Line-Celebration of Johnny Cash
Compilation Appearance Lone Ranger: Wanted
Compilation Appearance Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 (OST)
Compilation Appearance Twilight Soundtrack
Technical Info
Engineer Neil Strauch
Producer Brian Deck
CatalogID 534456
Lable Name Nonesuch (USA)
Released 2013
Original Release 2013
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 43m : 58s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
UPC 00075597959666
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Sam Beam (vocals, guitars); Entcho Todorov, Hiroko Taguchi (violin, viola); Maxim Moston (violin); Anja Wood, Marika Hughes (cello); Doug Wieselman (clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Briggan Krauss (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Steven Bernsein (trumpet, cornet, alto horn); Curtis Fowlkes (trombone); Rob Burger (piano, electric piano); Josette Newsome, Carla Cook (background vocals).
Photographer: Jason Varney.
Arranger: Rob Burger.
After expanding his intimate indie folk sound about as far as it could go on the last Iron & Wine album, Kiss Each Other Clean, Sam Beam (and trusty producer Brian Deck) take a step back on Ghost on Ghost and deliver something less suited for large arenas and more late-night jazz club-sized. The arrangements on that album were stuffed with instruments and seemed built to reach the back row; this time there are still plenty of horns, violins, and female backing vocals in the mix, but they are employed with a much lighter touch. Working with jazz drummer Brian Blade and a standup bass and mixing together elements of country, jazz, indie rock, and soft rock, the album has a much more intimate feel that suits Beam's quietly soulful vocals much more naturally. It's still very slick and pro-sounding, but not to the point of distraction. It sounds like the work of two highly skilled craftsmen making the kind of album they should make, instead of guys trying to make something relevant and "big." Beam's songs this time are more diverse than usual; he delivers the kind of songs an Iron & Wine follower would expect, nocturnal and hushed confessionals (the echoing "Joy," "Winter Prayers") and cinematic ballads ("Baby Center Stage") that sound like they would have fit in well on the last couple albums. Balancing these against gritty and intense songs that seethe with barely controlled drama and emotion ("Grass Widows," "Lover's Revolution") and a couple almost happy-sounding uptempo tracks (like the rambling, very Belle & Sebastian-influenced "Grace for Saints and Ramblers") shows that Beam is really expanding the kind of songs he is writing and doing it with a large degree of success. Anyone who has been with I&W since the beginning might find it hard to believe they would ever record a song as lightly soulful and sweet as the almost jaunty "The Desert Babbler" or as easy on the ears as "New Mexico's No Breeze," which sounds like a dusty indie pop take on Seals & Crofts, or as musically complex as the very hooky "Caught in the Briars." Bringing the scale back down to something human while injecting some jazz and sunshine into the I&W sound proves to be a very good strategy for Beam, and it makes Ghost on Ghost one of the most satisfying albums the group has done to date. ~ Tim Sendra
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.69) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he best tunes here are the kind of dreams that will stay on your mind long after waking."
CMJ - "He thrives on interruption: blood in the river, snakes in the weeds, barbed wire hidden in the bush."
Billboard (p.35) - "[O]pener 'Caught in the Briars' channels Van Morrison's laid-back confidence."
Q (Magazine) (p.103) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he songs are built on buoyant '60s pop and Beach Boys harmonies soar alongside lively brass."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.84) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] set of songs that sound painstakingly arranged yet given to moments of improvisational brilliance."
Disc 1
1 Caught in the Briars
2 Desert Babbler, The
3 Joy
4 Low Light Buddy of Mine
5 Grace for Saints and Ramblers
6 Grass Widows
7 Singers and the Endless Song
8 Sundown (Back in the Briars)
9 Winter Prayers
10 New Mexico's No Breeze
11 Lovers' Revolution
12 Baby Center Stage
Product Attributes
Artist Iron & Wine
Label Nonesuch Records
Music Format Compact Disc

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