Beast Epic

Iron & Wine - Beast Epic
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2017 Ratings: #370 / 719
User Score
Based on 83 ratings
2017 Ratings: #175
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.

NR
Nice...just a nice album
zdwyatt
80
I think this strikes a good balance between the sparse sound of his first record and the fuller sound he's been trying, to mixed response, to incorporate. Sam Beam always writes good songs, but they shine brightest when they're stripped back a bit.

Favorite tracks: Song In Stone, Call It Dreaming, Claim Your Ghost
CheapandLethal
70
Worth a listen
74
“Beast Epic” is Iron & Wine’s self-consciously “back to basics” album, and its simplicity and sweetness is a welcome change of pace. Many listeners might think they are over the sensitive bearded indie folk vibe that Iron & Wine helped create over a decade ago, but as one of its founders, Sam Beam does this vibe so well that it’s still worth listening to; “Beast Epic” is a strong contender for best coffeeshop folk album of the year. ... read more
Music_Observer
75
This 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) = 75/100
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END OF YEAR 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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Added on: June 8, 2017