Iron And Wine's third album took a step away from the lofi bedroom sounds of previous efforts. The Shepherd's Dog was marked by its everything goes approach, as Sam Beam teamed up with a variety of musicians to record the songs that make up the album. Far from austere, the music is more fleshed out than anything Beam had released before. Somehow, despite the extra instrumentation, the songs still maintain the level of intimacy of the albums that came before. Beam layers his voice, even going so far as to deliver 10cc like vocal backing. His usual guitar is joined by everything from accordions to Hammond organ, piano to backward guitars, vibraphone to bass harmonica. There are elements of Afro pop in songs like "House by the Sea" and "Wolves (Song of the Shepherd's Dog)," while many of the other songs on the album sound much bigger than if they had been part of earlier albums. The level of production led to one of Beam's most varied and delightful albums to date.
- music label: Sub Pop 2007
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 04/2015
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