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Beast Epic Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critic Reviews What's this?

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth full-length studio release for Sam Beam was recorded live by Tom Schick at The Loft in Chicago.
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Top Track

Call It Dreaming
Say it's here where our pieces fall in place Any rain softly kisses us on the face Anywhere means we're running We can sleep and see 'em coming Where... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Aug 25, 2017
    100
    Beast Epic perfectly distills a career into a nearly perfect collection.
  2. Aug 17, 2017
    80
    Here is a warm, kind album that may sag a little on the second side but has songs up there with Beam’s best. Think Teenage Fanclub’s recent Here for a similar bittersweet reunion. Mellow doubt indeed.
  3. Aug 23, 2017
    80
    It may not be a step forward, but it is a strong step in a very pleasing direction, especially for fans of a more unfiltered Iron & Wine.
  4. Aug 24, 2017
    75
    It is the sound of Iron & Wine returning home, ending one chapter and beginning another.
  5. Aug 28, 2017
    70
    On Beast Epic, Iron & Wine has rediscovered the power and beauty in scaling back when it serves the song, and the result is Beam's most dynamic and convincing record in years.
  6. Aug 22, 2017
    70
    While Beast Epic doesn’t quite match the strength of those records, it still remains his most pleasing work since 2007’s ‘The Shepherd’s Dog’.
  7. Aug 15, 2017
    60
    The sneaky-sounding arpeggios and the hushed, fragile vocal performances that defined albums like Our Endless Numbered Days are eschewed in favor of bright strumming and unbridled joyousness, rendering most of Beast Epic undeniably pretty but ultimately toothless. That's not to say Beast Epic doesn't sometimes explore hefty themes.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Aug 31, 2017
    10
    He’s the same artist we have come to know. The album is personal and reflective. Sam Beam is still powerful in his restraints; and Beast EpicHe’s the same artist we have come to know. The album is personal and reflective. Sam Beam is still powerful in his restraints; and Beast Epic is one of his best. Expand
  2. Aug 31, 2017
    9
    The best Iron & Wine album since 2004's Our Endless Numbered Days. After several years of experimenting with his sound in often wonderfulThe best Iron & Wine album since 2004's Our Endless Numbered Days. After several years of experimenting with his sound in often wonderful ways, Sam Beam has gone back to the stripped-down, lovely songwriting of his early days.

    If an artist keeps doing the same thing over and over, they are usually criticized for playing it safe and not challenging themselves. But if they do get weird and experimental, an artist can lose many of their original fans along the way. I think that happened with some Iron & Wine fans who were there from the early four-track days of simple banjo, guitar, and Beam's hushed singing. I never stopped listening to Iron & Wine albums after Numbered Days, but I did find myself feeling less passionate about his music. However, it's interesting to me that it seems if enough time passes, the return to the early sounds can be refreshing and vibrant all over again, as it is here on the lovely and heartfelt Beast Epic. I applaud this triumphant return and hope for more in the same vein.
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  3. Sep 12, 2017
    8
    This album fully succeeds in bringing out the beauty of straightforward folk music with strong melodic delivery surrounded by sweet simplicityThis album fully succeeds in bringing out the beauty of straightforward folk music with strong melodic delivery surrounded by sweet simplicity that’s easily reminiscent of happy emotions, and although the harmonic language got a bit too wearisome and the sound had a lack of additions or real nuance, it’s the kind of simple and consistent work paired with convincing musicality that can’t go wrong. My Score: 135/180 (Solid) = 7.5/10 Expand
  4. Sep 10, 2017
    7
    Sam has been one of my favorite artists for a long time. This album is good but not great. His voice sounds fantastic and there are manySam has been one of my favorite artists for a long time. This album is good but not great. His voice sounds fantastic and there are many fantastic melodies, but the album just isn't memorable or exciting musically. Good album to throw on the record player on a rainy sunday afternoon, but not an album like the Shepherd's Dog which was just breathtaking. Expand
  5. Aug 26, 2017
    7
    I am more aware of Iron & Wine by reputation than by music. So for my first rodeo in the indie folk legend's world I was expecting prettyI am more aware of Iron & Wine by reputation than by music. So for my first rodeo in the indie folk legend's world I was expecting pretty acoustic songs. And I got it. I wasn't blown away by it, but songs like Call It Dreaming and The Truest Stars We Know are fantastic, but I got what I was expecting as a solid folk album. There are times where I didn't dig some of the song composition being a bit soft rock-esque and sounding too bland and safe, I still enjoyed it as an introduction. Will most definitely check out his early records. Expand
  6. Sep 10, 2017
    5
    It's still the same climate and nothing new. I was expecting a whole new version of this band, and I got the same as many years ago. A littleIt's still the same climate and nothing new. I was expecting a whole new version of this band, and I got the same as many years ago. A little boredom and a little lack of invention but pleasant listening. Expand