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Our Endless Numbered Days

194 customer reviews

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Our Endless Numbered Days
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Audio CD, March 23, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On his second full-length, Sam Beam "...launches balloons of sweetly whispered regret over trance-inducing backwoods string arrangements and watches them float away, his heart in tow"--Entertainment Weekly. "Equally assured with sweetly lilting pop and doom struck ballads, Beam invests these songs with hypnotic beauty and sparkling melody, making them as accessible as they are affecting"--The Onion.

Florida’s brilliant singer-songwriter Sam Beam expands Iron & Wine from solo project to a gaggle of friends and family on slide guitar, percussion, and backing vocals on his second album. Fans need not worry--the hushed immediacy and rich melodies remain the focus--but new flavors abound. For instance, the strange "Cinder And Smoke" sounds like a collaboration (with banjos of course) between America, Robert Wyatt and Low. Meanwhile, "On Your Wings," "Free Until They Cut Me Down," and "Teeth in the Grass" showcase a brooding, earthy, Southern-rock-on-laudanum side that the band had previously only demonstrated in concert. It's rare when an artist who's become known for bedroom recordings makes the transition to the studio to produce work that's better--Daniel Johnston, Lou Barlow, and Liz Phair all made their defining moments crouched above a cassette recorder at home. But Beam is the exception to the rule, as he has easily bested himself on the second Iron & Wine album. --Mike McGonigal

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1. On Your Wings
2. Naked As We Came
3. Cinder And Smoke
4. Sunset Soon Forgotten
5. Teeth In The Grass
6. Love And Some Verses
7. Radio War
8. Each Coming Night
9. Free Until They Cut Me Down
10. Fever Dream
11. Sodom, South Georgia
12. Passing Afternoon

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B0001ENX54
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,997 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 150 people found the following review helpful By someguy on July 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Here I am, a grown man, who listens to everything from the Shins to Tool. I was listening to this album in my bed after I bought it that day. I was really tired, so I kind of drifted off (not because the album was boring, far from it - I was just tired). When "Fever Dream" came on I instantly became aware again. It's not like this song has a loud or startling beginning, either - no Iron & Wine song does. But the guitar line was so beautiful my mind must have said "wake up and hear this." I rarely hear a song that affects me dramatically as "Fever Dream" did, and still does. I just layed there, captured by it's sheer gentle beauty. It aroused so many emotions inside that were lying dormant somewhere inside me. The fact is, I've been extrememly lonely lately, and there hasn't been anyone I felt could really sympathize with me. But this song captured my emotions so well I shed tears. You probably think I'm lame, but I just needed to share how deeply this song affected me.
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121 of 141 people found the following review helpful By Soaring Heart on May 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I cannot begin to explain in words how much I Love this album. OUR ENDLESS NUMBERED DAYS is perfectly appealing to me in every way: lyrically, instrumentally, vocally, its unique style, right down to the cover. Ahhhh. It should be in every music lovers cd library. Every song can stand alone on its own merit yet, as a complete composition it is breathtaking with each song making the previous and next sound even better. So obviously, I love every track and my favorite is the last track, "Passing Afternoon."
There's a Force in OUR ENDLESS NUMBERED DAYS to be reckoned with. For me, it literally stops time and makes whatever I'm doing a joy while I feel peaceful, humble and thankful as it plays. OEND feeds my spirit as if to say, "Just live life, enjoy as much as possible and take it as it comes-- especially things out of my control." Music that speaks to me...what a gift. I only hope to keep coming across Music this great. Thank you, Sam.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Greg Brady on October 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Sam Beam is the singer/songwriter behind Iron and Wine. Musically, you'll definitely be reminded of the spare acoustic folk sounds of Nick Drake, though Beam is apt to dust them with country influences quite often in the form of banjos and slide guitar. Vocally, he reminds me of a more hushed Lindsay Buckingham, especially when he utilizes layers of his vocals. ("Radio War" in particular made me think of a RUMOURS outtake..) Tempos and moods here vary between slow and melancholy to mid-tempo and subdued.


"On Your Wings" sinks it with its refrain "God, give us love in the time that we have" as it basks in mortality ("All these men that You've made/How we wither in the shade.."). "Each Coming Night" is another rumination about life's fragility. ("Will you say when I'm gone away/'I loved your son for his sturdy arms'...") "Free Until they Cut me Down" strides close musically to Johnny Cash's take on Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" (at least during the intro section) but nicely diverges later into one of the more musically interesting bits. It's also one of the more cynical tunes here, seemingly placing Beam in the shoes of a rapist ("Papa, don't tell me what I could've done/She's the one who begged me/'Take me home'...") "Fever Dreams" has probably the most poetic take on love here ("I want your flowers/like babies want God's love/Or maybe sure as tomorrow will come") Don't ask me what "Teeth in the Grass" is about...don't ask me to stop hearing it in my head either. It just sticks there...


No particular tunes stick out as bad but there is a sameness of sound throughout the disc. Whether that strikes you as "boring" or "cohesive" is probably in the ear of the beholder.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
When I first read that "Our Endless Numbered Days", the follow-up to the perfect "The Creek Drank the Cradle," was somewhat of a departure from the Iron & Wine formula, I was skeptical. I loved the lo-fi sound of his first effort and I was afraid that this one might lack that certain intimacy evident in it. However, even though the sound is different, the song thankfully remains the same. Sam Beam no longer records on his four-track in his home; rather, he has made the jump to the recording studio and as a result, that lo-fi sound is admittedly lost, making the songs sound much more sharp and clear. However, the intimate sound and simplicity of the songs is still very much there, with only light arrangements included this time around. But the focus in all the songs is still Sam's pleasant, whispery voice and slide guitar, which is a great thing. What the studio enabled him to do was add nice instrumental touches to various songs, giving the entire album some variety and liveliness, including backing vocals from his sister (Sarah Beam); drums and a tambourine on the great, bluesy "Free Until They Cut Me Down;" and the interesting chants at the end of "Cinder and Smoke." There are also some great acoustic ballads akin to the ones on "Creek Drank the Cradle," such as "Naked As We Came," "Sunset Soon Forgotten," and "Fever Dream," among others. The direction he took for this album seems to be just a natural progression in Beam's career, not an immediate shift in production or values. The bonus CD also features some nice, lo-fi sounding recordings that will make anyone who liked his debut happy. Strongly recommended for established fans (you won't be disappointed) and newcomers alike.
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