While nothing will ever beat Sam Beam's first couple of albums creeping out of the stereo as the fire crawls from the wall in the room where hands stumble, clasped, holding - your love and you cuddling in a log cabin while Iron and Wine cement in the week long blizzard outside - listening to them by yourself is boring as shit. You've got to be really messed up to make it through a couple of songs. When he started his experimental phase with Calexico, everyone took note. His beautiful lyrics, played faster! Shepard's Dog takes this a step further, creating the lushest, fastest, most melodic album he has ever made. Sam Beam punching through a hazy jungle of ghosts and Gods while monkeys howl out drum riffs and the stand up toucan bass plucks out into the endless sonic canopy.
5. House by the Sea - Juju music! This one needs to be heard to understand how far this man has come. Again, for emphasis, Sam Beam doing juju music!
8. Resurection Fern - A classic Iron and Wine song, done with perfect production, slide guitars, percussion, and backup vocals. This one is so fucking delicious.
10. IS DIRTY, maybe. It says bitching. But this song actually rollicks, and it is ironic to play it on the radio. So, your call...
12. Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Beautiful, spacey waltz.