Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
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  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. Jan 25, 2011
    Kiss Each Other Clean has the potential to please longtime fans and generate plenty of new ones.
  3. Jan 25, 2011
    The music reflects the excitement of a man who realizes he's onto something; Beam's vocals have never been so strong, and the bountiful instrumentation marks a musician eager to show off the range of options he's discovered.
  4. Feb 1, 2011
    A noticeable departure on Kiss Each Other Clean is that Beam seems to be having a genuinely good time on the album.
  5. 90
    Kiss Each Other Clean is a surprising and majestic triumph.
  6. Jan 18, 2011
    Kiss delivers plenty of unexpected layers, employed judiciously in service of Beam's usual ruminative ideas about good and evil, love and death.
  7. 88
    On Kiss Each Other Clean, Beam's muse must have told him to pull back on the reins.
  8. Jan 25, 2011
    Now with his fifth album, Beam may not have abandoned his roots, but he's certainly stretched far beyond them.
  9. 83
    Not all of the new sounds enhance Beam's lovely melodies, but they rarely obscure those underlying charms, either.
  10. Dec 7, 2011
    Kiss Each Other Clean is the result of years of growth and change, and though that sounds incredibly boring, it's also a record full of roiling emotion, tender wit, and deeply felt melodic beauty.
  11. Mar 21, 2011
    Kiss Each Other Clean makes Sam Beam four for four--more if you count the EPs and 2009's rarities set Around the Well.
  12. Q Magazine
    Feb 2, 2011
    More subtle delights from the bearded Mr. Beam. [Feb. 2011, p. 117]
  13. Jan 25, 2011
    The equivalent of changing radio stations in his more youthful days, Kiss Each Other Clean is the result of Beam uncontrollably turning the radio knob until finding the right tune in his head.
  14. Jan 25, 2011
    Less folksy, more funky, Kiss Each Other Clean is a rather more lively, sometimes even poppy record.
  15. Jan 25, 2011
    This is not an edgy or restless record, but rather introspective, warm, and almost tropical.
  16. Jan 21, 2011
    Beam comes across as a latterday prophet, casting his gentle eye over capitalist, warmongering western society with sorrow and kindness.
  17. Jan 21, 2011
    There can be a thin line between ambitious and pretentious, but this record dodges the latter gracefully.
  18. Jan 18, 2011
    Beam's songwriting retains a cryptic quality, but the feeling shines through, and however far Iron & Wine travels from its starting point, it still won't feel far from home.
  19. 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.
  20. Jan 18, 2011
    Some of the experiments here may work better than others in the long term, but it is far better that Beam is an artist prepared to take risks. His best work may be yet to come, while his writing remains vivid and evocative.
  21. Jan 25, 2011
    These songs are generally not the type to grab you right away, but there's enough mystery and melody there to call you back.
  22. Mar 4, 2011
    Nestling welcomed experimentation among familiar tunes, Beam is hedging his bets with Kiss Each Other Clean.
  23. 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.
  24. Jan 31, 2011
    The remarkable change here comes from courtesy of the record's sonic qualities.
  25. Jan 27, 2011
    When the grandiosity succeeds, it's pleasing, perhaps even wonderful. But when it fails, which it does every so often (even at moments on the strongest tracks), it just kind of makes you wonder why things couldn't just stay the way they were.
  26. Here, Beam adds funky Stevie Wonder synths to the mix. And marimba. Lots of marimba.
  27. Jan 24, 2011
    Somehow Beam pulls off the variety without making Kiss Each Other Clean feel disjointed or forced.
  28. Jan 21, 2011
    Beam's headed someplace, and it's worth following.
  29. Alternative Press
    Jan 19, 2011
    This is Iron & Wine's most resolute statement, and what a wake-up call. [Feb 2011, p.87]
  30. 70
    Ultimately, however, once you've gotten past the nagging feeling that you're not really listening to the Iron And Wine you thought you knew, you realize that you are, and that many of the songs are wonderful.
  31. Jan 26, 2011
    Mostly, the listener will leave Kiss Each Other Clean craving something lyrically to hold onto, to become affected beyond the immediate emotional stirs that the pure prettiness of songs like Godless Brother In Love.
  32. Feb 3, 2011
    Albums like Kiss Each Other Clean and The Age of Adz are so giddy with compacting layers and counter layers into the already mapped-out confines of their pre-existing aesthetics that they come across like snowflakes: each one is beautiful and unique, except that the detail is too small to see and anyways there's about a billion of them shits and you have to shovel the walkway and hope public transit isn't delayed. It's distracting, basically, because nothing gets a chance to breath.
  33. Feb 15, 2011
    Kiss Each Other Clean recalls Scritti Politti, or Sufjan Stevens--perhaps not what his folky fans were hoping for, but it's an impressive makeover.
  34. Jan 26, 2011
    Kiss Each Other Clean might have a sexy title, but it's just a little too effete to be the great pop record that it really should be.
  35. Jan 25, 2011
    Credit to Beam, of course, for challenging himself rather than continuing to remake The Creek Drank the Cradle over and over again, but Kiss Each Other Clean is unlikely to count among his best work.
  36. Mojo
    Apr 20, 2011
    Fourth outing for the hirsute folk/pop alchemist. [Feb. 2011, p. 107]
  37. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. 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 outstandingNot 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.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 26, 2011
    Who is Chad Taylor? HE is the drummer in the group. Samuel Beam is the main guy. The group should be called IRON & WINE

    Got this at Borders
    Who is Chad Taylor? HE is the drummer in the group. Samuel Beam is the main guy. The group should be called IRON & WINE

    Got this at Borders a week early - oops! I like all IRON & WINE's stuff. More blues / country than I usually like, but this guy always puts out winners in my book. My main point was to correct the mistaken identity of the musician / group - not to write a review.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 1, 2015
    Never understood what people didn't like about this album. It's beautiful and moving and feels so passionate. I for one loved it! It's notNever understood what people didn't like about this album. It's beautiful and moving and feels so passionate. I for one loved it! It's not quite on par with Our Endless Numbered Days, but it is certainly one of my favorites from Iron & Wine. Don't listen to negatives. Listen for yourself. Full Review »