Best Albums of 2011: #16

Iron and Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

"...on their first major label release, Iron and Wine continues that which was started on The Shepard's Dog of shedding much of the sound that they were once known for. Beam singing is now anything but hushed and his instrumentation anything but acoustic. Kiss Each Other Clean is definitely not just Iron and Wine plugged in. "

Unafraid to throw out older templates for crafting Iron and Wine songs, Kiss Each Other Clean is a daring release that takes a lot of risks but pays off in almost off of them. Fortunately, rather than letting all the new instruments and styles get in the way, they are all used to emphasize Sam Beam's iconic lyricism and maintain a unique 70s soft rock style throughout that has had me returning to the album more than I had originally thought I would. Ultimately, Kiss Each Other Clean is exactly the kind of album you want to see from a band as established as Iron and Wine: This isn't the Iron and Wine you remember, but its the one you won't be able to forget.

Best Tracks: "Tree By The River", "Godless Brother In Love"

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