AOTY 2019

Beast Epic

Iron & Wine - Beast Epic
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2017 Ratings: #375 / 725
User Score
Based on 97 ratings
2017 Ratings: #226
August 25, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sub Pop / Label
Indie Folk / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
A.V. Club

Beam has written his most affecting, impressive set of songs in a long time—maybe ever—and that’s saying something for a guy whose songwriting rarely misses, even when he’s stretching his sonic wings. Beast Epic strikes a perfect balance between gorgeous and world-weary from the first note to the last.

81
Paste

A confident album from an artist who isn’t afraid to merge the past and present, Sam Beam continues to audibly demonstrate why he’s one of the most gifted songwriters of his time.

80
The Line of Best Fit

To begin with, Beast Epic may well sound too tame and house-trained to sustain interest. Keep at it, however, and the album is soon likely to cast a subtle spell.

80
The Guardian

These songs may be modest – none break the four-minute mark – and undemanding, but their sure-footed craft creates profound, 12-tog comfort.

80
AllMusic

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.

75
Consequence of Sound

Beast Epic serves as a valuable way point in Iron & Wine’s still-evolving legacy. Whatever sonic paths his next record treads, Beam has proven, to his fans’ great relief, that he’ll always know the way back home.

75
Pitchfork

Working as his own producer with a live recording style and few overdubs, Beam has never sounded more in control.

70
Clash

The material itself ... is far less conceptual but despite the red herring of its title, the result is one of his most minimal, tasteful and consistent efforts in a decade.

70
American Songwriter

Everything about Beast Epic feels true to Iron & Wine. Beam neither abandons his greater ambitions nor overindulges. He’s making a return trip to his roots, offering a gentle reminder of his early records’ simple beauty while allowing himself the freedom to build.

70
Under The Radar

Beast Epic is a beauty. One would be hard-pressed to name something Beam did that wasn't.

70
PopMatters

In heading back to basics, Beam has delivered the kind of lyrical and vocal performance which explains why he has enjoyed such a long and varied recording career and will no doubt continue to do so.

70
Rolling Stone

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.

70
musicOMH

Beast Epic is a worthy addition to the Iron And Wine catalogue and an example of an album that improves the more and deeper you listen to it.

65
Prefix

The album marks the return of that sharpness of perspective in Beam’s songwriting. However, there are moments where the music — though the band plays together well — threatens to tip from spare into stale.

60
Slant Magazine

Iron & Wine’s Beast Epic mostly just drifts by like a pleasant but fleeting summer breeze.

60
The Independent

Beast Epic is the latest in a line of albums whose beguiling melodies, guitar picking and murmurous vocals conceal lyrics whose mysteries take months to unpick.

60
Exclaim!

It's noble to see Iron & Wine trying to take his songs into a different direction, but it's a shame that he lacks the confidence to allow these great songs to show off their personality without the help of inane studio glossiness.

MinatoArisato
70
A relaxing albeit simple folk record, nothing too special here but there is a bit of charm to Beast Epic.

Best Track: Song in Stone
Worst Track: Summer Clouds
notbuzzzila
80
GREAT

it really do be epic though
WildChameleon
74
A charming and relaxing album but clearly not at the same level as his previous.
NR
Nice...just a nice album
HoodieBraden
79
About as beautiful as you can get when it comes to folk music. This album is so genuine and sincere, mostly brought out by the charming and honest songwriting. Beast Epic doesn't quite hold up to Our Endless Numbered Days in means of production, but it's still an excellent work that I can't help but return to.
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Year End Lists

#89/Fopp

Track List

  1. Claim Your Ghost
  2. Thomas County Law
  3. Bitter Truth
  4. Song in Stone
  5. Summer Clouds
  6. Call It Dreaming
  7. About a Bruise
  8. Last Night
  9. Right for Sky
  10. The Truest Stars We Know
  11. Our Light Miles
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In Library (26)
MinatoArisato
newslang
dillettinho
WhenTheNight
Jer
Skywave89
vidirr
veery
Leohe
Yoampa
Contributions By
patton, thisisabtlgrnd, CoL1


Added on: June 8, 2017