Around The Well

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

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Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: This double CD set contains unreleased and rare tracks from singer-songwriter Samuel Beam.

Top Track

Such great heights
I am thinking it's a sign That the freckles in our eyes Are mirror images and when we kiss They're perfectly aligned And I have to speculate That... See the rest of the song lyrics
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. While there will be a new Iron & Wine album inn 2010, this collection’s amazing consistency, and glut of stellar songs, guarantees that is hardly just a hold-over.
  3. Resplendent with Beam’s raw, whispered tones and snatched memories wrapped in the warmth and emotional calamity Iron And Wine are known for, it’s vintage stuff.
  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. Q Magazine
    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
    Amazing, heart-wrenching stuff. Both Cds are terrific but I really recommend giving "The Trapeze Swinger" a listen. It's longer than 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
    A strong compilation of out of print and previously unreleased material.