The thing is, I didn't really get on the Iron and Wine train really until their 2011 release, Kiss Each Other Clean. Then, I realized the error of my ways, went through their back catalogue, and found myself thoroughly digging Samuel Beam's pristine use of acoustic guitar, his crystal-clear vocals, and the lovely complexity of his lyrics.
But THIS track, "Lovers' Revolution," elicits a... "Holy crap, that is so different and so good!!" out of me." Simply, this is a dirty, hot jazz tune, straight from a smoke-filled basement where men wear hats and women are good at being bad. A flurry of brass horns and the devilish drumming of piano slinkily leads you into this distinctly different musical world; as the song continues, you find they're really just getting started. The track speeds up and crescendos into a full-on jazz-plosion, Beam's singing voice still managing to anchor the track in recognizably Iron and Wine territory.
You see, "Lovers' Revolution" is a perfect example of why I fell in love so hard with Iron and Wine, albeit late. I was under the impression that Beam was a one trick pony, the harbinger of Fleet Foxes and little more. Kiss Each Other Clean showed me how wrong I was -- how much versatility he has as a singer songwriter, and as a performer. "Lovers' Revolution" flips the Iron and Wine sound on its head, yet again, while still maintaining the compelling loveliness that always seem to find its way into Beam's songs. A change in genre, yes, but not necessarily a change in approach.
Iron and Wine's next album, Ghost on Ghost, comes out April 16, 2013. We'll see what journey Beam takes us on with this one.