Around The Well - Iron & Wine
Around The Well Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Summary: This double CD set contains unreleased and rare tracks from singer-songwriter Samuel Beam.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. That sense of musical evolution makes Around the Well a particularly compelling listening, and Beam’s sensitive readings of songs by Stereolab, the Flaming Lips, the Postal Service, and New Order show how sturdy his sound can be, as he translates them to quieter settings without losing their heraldic sentiments.
  2. Iron and Wine's slow-motion magic shines here, and the material ranks with their best. It may be the most hypnotizing hour and a half you spend all month.
  3. A collection that will both excite fans and convince newcomers, Around The Well is that rare phenomenon, a rarities compliation that is nigh on essential. [Summer 2009, p.66]
  4. Around the Well is a great retrospective that heps fans to a lot of difficult-to-locate material from one of this decade's finest songwriters. While there is some fairly flat stuff on the first disc, it really gives the listener the sweep of his development as a writer, musician, and arranger.
  5. Compilations can be tricky to assemble, but Around the Well is both comprehensive and conveniently presented, with each disc representing the two amorphous halves of Iron & Wine's career.
  6. Although this two-CD manifesto isn't completely immune to the current bar-lowering--disc one is heavy on wispy, lo-fi throwaways (one exception: an intimate acoustic version of the Flaming Lips' "Waitin' for a Superman")--there's more wheat than chaff.
  7. The home recordings, however, insist this is probably for fans only. [Jul 2009, p.138]

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. DanielB
    Jul 9, 2009
    10
    Amazing, heart-wrenching stuff. Both Cds are terrific but I really recommend giving "The Trapeze Swinger" a listen. It's longer than "Stairway" but it's amazing. Expand
  2. BillS
    May 20, 2009
    8
    A strong compilation of out of print and previously unreleased material.