The Shepherd's Dog - Iron & Wine

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 34
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 34
  3. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 93
    With his grandest album to date, mark the return of Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam a triumphant one, packed with romantic tales of small towns, countrysides and the expansive sea.
  2. Once the shock of Beam's experimental bent wears off, it becomes clear that he's added dimension to his style without sacrificing its gorgeous tranquility. [28 Sep 2007, p.107]
  3. By pushing pop into the dreary without all the drab, Iron and Wine strikes a balance of truth and hope that can get muddled by a scene dominated by pessimists.
  4. The Shepherd's Dog goes a long way towards validating all the attention I&W have been getting; it's their best, most diverse and listenable record yet as Beam and co. take another leap away from the lo-fi one dude in a bedroom beginnings of the group.
  5. Sam Beam has returned with a third full-length that rivals just about anything in his small but illustrious catalog. [Nov 2007, p.162]
  6. Beam has managed to tweak and in?ate his signature sound without sacri?cing any of its considerable charm.
  7. The Shepherd's Dog proves that Beam is worthy of the attention that he is given and actually a brilliant musical mind rather than some guy who got lucky enough to make a great album in his bedroom.
  8. Intimate, literate and wonderfully executed, Iron & Wine seem to have made one of the albums of the year. Don’t let it pass you by.
  9. Whether blazing a tight new trail or feeling its way in the darkness, each tune on the album heads somewhere, collectively making as much of a stylistic progression as the recording of "Our Endless Numbered Days" made in fidelity and depth.
  10. The Shepherd's Dog is Iron & Wine's most diverse and progressive album yet, a deft transition to a very different sound that explores new territory while preserving the best aspects of Beam's earlier recordings.
  11. I think The Shepherd's Dog is probably Iron & Wine's best record to date (Beam has never once even made a mediocre album, so this says a lot).
  12. Ultimately, it's that broken, half-told beauty that gives Dog its mystery, but also perhaps its feel of a record you may always like but around which you may never really feel completely comfortable.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 55 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Cables
    Nov 25, 2007
    Overtime, it has revealed itself to be my favorite album of the year. Once you surrender yourself to the albums pacing and wordplay, allowing time to take its course and melodies to sink in, it never lets you go. Full Review »
  2. Mar 17, 2013
    I disregarded this album for the longest time, But I must admit it's a solid folk/indie/rock record. The lyrics, the vocals, the production, all worthy of noticing. All In All, I'm not the biggest Iron & Wine fan but I do particularly find this record really well-made. B+ Full Review »
  3. AshleyT.
    Dec 11, 2007
    By far the best Iron and Wine album to date.