Ladies and Gentlemen we have ourselves here the first great record of 2011. Iron & Wine return with Sam Beam's most stylistically diverse record to date. I know the indie heartthrobs still pine over "Naked As We Came" but those days of his acoustic work is long over. I actually kind of prefer the current incarnation of Iron & Wine. Though there is a lot of love about a man and his guitar intertwined, there is just more to experience with the added band. Many folk singers have added backing bands and have failed (Devendra Banhart), but not Beam, he is able to create lush music to carry his poetic lyrics with any array of instruments. In Kiss Each Other Clean, there is everything from saxophone to marimba. The last song "Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me" takes the cake however. It is his most pounding jam to date. While I think Kiss Each Other Clean is second to The Shepherd's Dog in sheer flow and cohesiveness, there is still a lot to love about this release.
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Big Burned Hand