Monday, March 25, 2013

Jaybee Goes Right Back to Bed

Want a good “quiet” album? Then there’s Iron & Wine’s first record, which may be a little too quiet.

Good morning music, especially if you have no intention of actually getting up. And if 2013 turns into a major crapfest, I’ll put this on when I decide to sleep in.

These guys caught my attention when I saw the the movie “In Good Company”, where they contributed to the excellent soundtrack, and nearly lost it again when I put this record on. Those songs from the soundtrack came from their second record, so, just to be contrary - to myself in this case - I decided to get their first one.

I keep saying “they” when it seems to be just one guy - Sean Beam on guitar and vocals. I’m sure there are others, because I hear some some very occasional accompaniment. I guess the band is having trouble getting out of bed, too.

BUT I’LL NEVER KNOW BECAUSE THE DOWNSIDE OF GOING ALL MP3 IS THAT YOU NO LONGER GET TO SEE THE LINER NOTES. (I’m sure I’m totally wrong about this, so please educate me, but let me bitch about it a little more first.)

Anyway, back to this album. It’s not laid back exactly. It’s just damned quiet. Mr. Beam plays and sings so softly, I sometimes think he’s going for Leonard Cohen quiet intensity. But the words aren’t audible enough to really catch my attention (or hearing for that matter).

I keep thinking there is a great electric album hidden here.  I wish that were a compliment. It’s not that songs are bad. It’s just that sometimes a strong delivery is better than understatement.

The advantage of such understatement is that you can put it on whenever you want, and it’ unlikely that you’ll annoy someone. So the weird thing is that, although I don’t love the record I’ve actually played it way more than anything else this year. So it has its place. B+

"Lion's Mane"

The year so far:
1. Tame Impala
2. Iron & Wine

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