Woman King [EP]

  • Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Feb 22, 2005

Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Woman King is too short to be considered the high point of Iron & Wine's career -- it certainly points in that direction, though.
  2. Woman King is, in essence, the sound of a songwriter with an intuitive grasp on his craft, swiftly acknowledging the studio's crucial supporting role in his songs' structure and rearing.
  3. Woman King will provide eager Iron & Wine fans a welcome holdover between proper albums, but the EP also serves a larger developmental purpose, marking one more evolutionary hop for Sam Beam, and christening a new genre-- post-basement.
  4. Uncut
    Luminously beautiful music. [Apr 2005, p.106]
  5. Q Magazine
    Maybe not as consistent as previous efforts, but when Beam harmonises with his sister Sarah, in particular, Woman King is really a very lovely thing indeed. [Mar 2005, p.104]
  6. Mojo
    Makes for some striking textures. [Apr 2005, p.97]
  7. Beam maintains a strikingly hushed vocal presence yet expands his minimal, mostly acoustic arrangements with unusual percussion, slide guitar, keyboards, violin, distorted electric guitar and multitracked harmonies that never clutter his delicate delivery of durable tunes.
  8. Under The Radar
    While his latest EP... explores newer textures... it continues to harness what is becoming Beam's signature sound. [#9]
  9. Spin
    His loosest, most inspired set yet. [Mar 2005, p.86]
  10. Paste Magazine
    Producer Brian Deck understands that Beam's music is fragile. [Apr/May 2005, p.132]
  11. Magnet
    It's all very romantic and swoon-worthy. [#67, p.93]
  12. Woman King is the sound of Iron & Wine becoming a band; the sound of a singer-songwriter taking that all-important step forward; the sound of a group refusing to slip into the trap of staleness and homogeneity.
  13. [It] hints at a more complex approach to songwriting without abandoning the qualities that made us pay attention in the first place.
  14. Beam’s songwriting has always been the defining element of Iron & Wine, and it’s evident on these tracks, especially the lovely “My Lady’s House” with its gentle and loving theme.
  15. Woman King's songs are decidedly textured, rich with rhythm and reason, myth and melody.
  16. Woman King is a brief and yet satisfying taste for what Iron & Wine is all about.
  17. Woman King is an ideal transition record for Beam, interweaving colorful new threads into a familiar pattern and hinting at powerful and majestic songcraft to come on his next full-length.
  18. Ultimately, Woman King promises remarkable things to come for Iron and Wine, especially if Beam continues to expand his musical palette.
  19. Woman King subtly opens the sonic palette up to include more percussion, piano, and wait is that an electric guitar?
  20. It's nice to hear him breaking free of the contraints that he's laid out for himself thus far.
  21. There's a layered, almost psychedelic feel to a lot of these songs, suggesting that Beam may not be the died-in-the-wool folkie some might have pegged him as.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. [Anonymous]
    Oct 2, 2006
    Iron & Wine's finest work. Not a bad song on it. I just wish it was longer.
  2. iand
    Jan 24, 2006
    Jezebel is my favorite song . period. numero uno. When I saw him play it in concert I cried.
  3. HarryH
    Dec 30, 2005
    Jezebel is the upmost enspiring song i've heard by Iron&Wine yet.