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The Shepherd's Dog Image
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third album for the Austin-based singer Sam Beam.
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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 80
    By maintaining his intimacy while armed with a full palette of colors, Beam sets himself far apart from the rest of the hush-and-shush crowd. [Fall 2007, p.98]
  5. It is Beam at his best and a fitting conclusion to an album that shows why Iron & Wine continues to be the standard bearer for neofolk and beyond. [Summer 2007, p.74]
  6. The Shepherd’s Dog is the brilliant culmination of his experiments.
  7. Though the LP culminates a clear progression for Beam, Iron & Wine coalescing since 2005's "Woman King" into a band secure enough to experiment, the barrage of instrumentation and effects do little to advance the songs on The Shepherd's Dog.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

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
    10
    Overtime, it has revealed itself to be my favorite album of the year. Once you surrender yourself to the albums pacing and wordplay, allowing 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. Expand
  2. DanM
    Nov 1, 2007
    10
    I'll just say "ditto" to Kasper S's excellent review. I'm just confounded on why the critics are only lukewarm on this CD.
  3. TrevorV.
    Sep 25, 2007
    10
    A stunning and moving evolution of the closely-guarded seeds scattered 2 albums ago with The Creek Drank The Cradle. Sam Beam is an artist of A stunning and moving evolution of the closely-guarded seeds scattered 2 albums ago with The Creek Drank The Cradle. Sam Beam is an artist of our time, and this album is the final argument anyone should need for that. Expand
  4. Jw.
    Nov 24, 2007
    10
    I can only disagree that the sound and lyrics are distinctly southern. Truth is, they sound right at home up here in the Pacific Northwest, I can only disagree that the sound and lyrics are distinctly southern. Truth is, they sound right at home up here in the Pacific Northwest, too. It's a perfect album for fall, and specifically well-suited for cold college towns. Made me wish I was still in school. Top to bottom the best album so far this year - and it's getting late. Expand
  5. ChristianW.
    Sep 26, 2007
    9
    I haven't heard much by Iron & Wine... but this album and the former is absolutely great. I like the mix between experimental folk and I haven't heard much by Iron & Wine... but this album and the former is absolutely great. I like the mix between experimental folk and the Ali Farka Touré-kind of sound. Certainly an album I could listen to a couple of times... if noget for weeks or months. Sam Beams voice is calm; like someone reading a bedtimestory... so grab the album as soon as you can. Expand
  6. JoãoD.
    Oct 9, 2007
    9
    This is perfectly crafted music by a genuine artist. And his live performances validate this great, great album, making it even better. In This is perfectly crafted music by a genuine artist. And his live performances validate this great, great album, making it even better. In contrast with many other great studio albums that bands just can't deliver live. Expand
  7. PaulC
    Sep 26, 2007
    6
    The best Sufjan Stevens album in years.

See all 28 User Reviews