Kiss Each Other Clean Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 37 Ratings

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  • Band members: Chad Taylor, Sam Beam, Brian Deck, Joe Adamick
  • Summary: The indie-folk Texas band's first release in nearly three years is an experimental endeavor, full of moving piano ballads; sonic saxophone sounds; and expressive, raw vocals.
  • Record Label: Warner Bros.
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 100
    Kiss Each Other Clean is much more focused and homogenous, but there's still a lingering sense of abundant inspiration, eager to carry the songs off to different lairs.
  2. 90
    Kiss Each Other Clean is a surprising and majestic triumph.
  3. 83
    Not all of the new sounds enhance Beam's lovely melodies, but they rarely obscure those underlying charms, either.
  4. 80
    Such is the rich detail dispersed across Kiss Each Other Clean that it demands some intensive listening to absorb all of its pleasures, especially when the choruses are not as cleanly-cut as one might expect of such a well-groomed higher-profile release.
  5. t may take a few albums for him to perfect the new sound, and we should expect that, keeping in mind that when he does, the results may very well be awe-inspiring. At the moment, however, Kiss Each Other Clean just isn't there yet.
  6. Jan 24, 2011
    Somehow Beam pulls off the variety without making Kiss Each Other Clean feel disjointed or forced.
  7. Jan 27, 2011
    In between erupts the album's clash of will and reality into a messy, ill-defined awkwardness of transition, which might have captivated in the complex shades of ambiguity that Beam expertly builds, except for a complete want of direction or purpose.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Sep 2, 2011
    This is my favorite Iron and Wine album by far. I've been a fan from the beginning, even seeing them perform in tiny bars with leaking ceilings. I love this record not only because it has giant cajones, but because it is an uplifting and beautiful piece of work. Expand
  2. Jan 27, 2011
    Just finished my first listen and I'm already in love with the album. In reading some of the critic's reviews, I was expecting a series of highs and lows or at least a few disappointments sprinkled among the triumphs. The disappointments never really came, though. I will admit, however, I started out as a pretty big Iron and Wine fan, so maybe I am predisposed to liking the album and ignoring its flaws. Highlights include the opening track, "Walking Far from Home", and the very funky "Big Burned Hand". Buy or download and enjoy! Expand
  3. Apr 7, 2011
    It would be ridiculous to attempt to describe each of the album's 10 tunes, since a few clicks of your mouse will deliver the album to your doorstep, figurative or literal, and my verbose descriptions would probably bore you. But let me assure you, not one piece of Kiss Each Other Clean is boring. There is the relaxed groove (supplemented by electronic sounds) of "Monkeys Uptown," one of the most immediate tracks on the album; there is the poignant piano-led ballad "Godless Brother In Love," whose lyrics confront loss and parents' feelings about children; there is the doo-wop/country/folk mash-up "Half Moon," where Beam's influences - and emotions - are clear: "I wake beside you on the floor/ Counting your breathing/ 'Cause I can't see nothing in this half moon/ Lay me down if i should lose you." But most of all, there is the finale "Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me." It is not so much a denouement or an epilogue as it is a culmination of Beam's entire career - an epitome of music that most writers strive for but never find. It comes just in time, right after Kiss Each Other's two weakest tracks, the Dave Matthews Band-esque "Big Burned Hand" and the melancholy ballad "Glad Man Singing." While these two tracks would take the reins on any other album, they don't quite summit the peak that the rest of Kiss Each Other's songs do: they have the oxygen to make it up K2, not Everest. At this point, most listeners might be ready to press "repeat," expecting the closer to be some sort of dulcet ballad like the two that closed Our Endless Numbered Days and The Shepherd's Dog. But no. Rest of this is at :) Expand
  4. Jan 31, 2011
    I enjoyed it, don't be fooled. It's an album that will kind of annoy you when you listen to it front to back. I was finding myself wanting more, wanting them to experiment even further. But Iron and Wine, knows where they belong, and tend to go back to that place frequently. Expand
  5. Feb 23, 2011
    The vast majority of 'Kiss Each Other Clean' truly is a beautiful album full of the ambiance and lyrical genius that is Sam Beam. And to answer fans and critics alike who bemoan the fuller, more produced sound: I believe that Beam's progression up the studio-production/layering/band-size ladder is only natural for anyone that considers himself an artist. Read my full review at: Expand
  6. Jan 27, 2011
    i cant say im a fan or something, it's just that i love good music when and where i can find it. right there, i can tell i found some of it. 1rst of all, the art concept is nice, and so is the man's beard. And even thought i fancied, that, after those exterior signs of originality, the music will be just as innovative... well, i must say, the 10 recordings didnt quite lived to my expectations. generating quite the opposite effect. thus, any experiments werent welcome in my ears, i think what those gentlemen are best @, are simple melodies and elemental arrangements, trio-more-like (guitar bass drums). but i guess there's a void in the steampunk stream to replete. Expand
  7. Mar 11, 2011
    Not sure what Sam's doing with this. His immaculate track record to date gives hope but this is just an experimental 'blip'. The outstanding opener 'Walking Far From Home' apart, there is little here that moves or inspires in the same way as a Trapeze Swinger or Boy with a Coin. That fantastic voice wanders dangerously close to Fleetwood Mac territory at times. The recent live show in Birmingham (UK) was also a strange affair. The new songs were received with nothing more than polite applause and the old classics were barely recognisable in some cases with severe case of self indulgent instrumentation. The band for the most part looked bored and devoid of enthusiasm.

    Love Iron & Wine, but this is weak. Needs a rethink and quick - get back to the strengths which made SHepherds Dog an instant classic.

See all 8 User Reviews