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Ghost on Ghost

Iron & WineAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 1 Digital Booklet, 2013 $10.49  
Audio CD, 2013 $10.00  
Vinyl, 2013 $21.98  

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Boy With a Coin from the album A Shepherd's Dog


Over the course of his ten-year career, Iron and Wine's Sam Beam has become one of today's greatest story tellers, crafting meticulous tales full of forlorn love, religious imagery and wistful dreams. Many fell in love with Iron and Wine Beam's tender and spare rendering of The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" was featured on the Garden State soundtrack in 2002. ... Read more in Amazon's Iron & Wine Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 16, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,395 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Caught in the Briars
2. The Desert Babbler
3. Joy
4. Low Light Buddy of Mine
5. Grace for Saints and Ramblers
6. Grass Widows
7. Singers and the Endless Song
8. Sundown (Back in the Briars)
9. Winter Prayers
10. New Mexico's No Breeze
11. Lovers' Revolution
12. Baby Center Stage

Editorial Reviews

Iron and Wine makes its Nonesuch Records debut with Ghost on Ghost. Ghost on Ghost is the fifth release from singer-songwriter Sam Beam, using the pen name Iron and Wine. The album was produced by Beam's longtime associate Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Califone, Fruit Bats) and follows 2011's Kiss Each Other Clean.

Rolling Stone said of Kiss Each Other Clean that "pop music hadn't seen anything like it since the heyday of Cat Stevens," while Pitchfork said it "more closely resembles the lush, gold-toned singer songwriter records of the late 60s and early 70s Astral Weeks, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."

For Ghost on Ghost, Beam sought to move from what he called the "anxious tension" of his two previous records. "This record felt like a reward to myself after the way I went about making the last few," he says.

Helping achieve Beam's vision was a group of stellar musicians including Rob Burger, Steve Bernstein, Brian Blade, Curtis Fowlkes, Tony Garnier, Marika Hughes, Briggan Kraus, Maxim Moston, Tony Scherr, Doug Wieselman, Kenny Wolleson, and Anja Wood. Burger (Tin Hat Trio) has worked with Beam intermittently through the years and handled arrangements for strings and horns on Ghost on Ghost. For the album's cover, Beam, who is also a visual artist, chose an image from the series Private Views by noted photographer Barbara Crane.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant April 16, 2013
I have no idea how anyone could criticize Iron & Wine for moving into new directions in their music. They have come a long way since Sam Beam started the project, and while I absolutely love their (his) first couple of albums and always will, I must admit that this album has a lot more depth and charm. To expect a musician to do the same calming acoustic melodies he was doing over ten years ago is insulting when you consider the need of an artist to grow and express himself in the present.
This album is a brilliant display of songwriting and arrangement that should put it up there as one of the greatest albums of the year. Do yourself a favor and give this album a try, though I would insist you forget everything you know about Iron & Wine prior to this release. It is not the "Naked as We Came" Iron & Wine that so many of us fell in love with so many years ago, yet it is true to form and a brilliant display of talent and melody that will stick with you for years to come.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece May 12, 2013
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
Like all of Sam Beam's (Iron &Wine) efforts, Ghost on Ghost is a beautiful collection of amazing lyrics set to equally amazing musical arrangements. While some will say Ghost on Ghost doesn't sound anything like Beam's earlier records....they're simply not paying attention to the journey Sam has taken musically. I'm happy to be along for the ride, wherever it goes.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Spring Album April 16, 2013
Format:MP3 Music
I have listened to this album several times on NPR's First Listen and I have been in love with it from the beginning. This is a great album to listen to on a sunny spring day. Roll the windows down and enjoy this one.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:MP3 Music
If Kiss Each Other Clean wasn't your cup of tea, then this is in the same ballpark, but it's not nearly as much overload. In fact there are some great songs here. "Sundown" is really great. The whole enterprise feels like AM gold, in a good way. It's worth a listen and might have a lot of summer evening re-play this year.

I don't think this album will be as divisive as Kiss Each Other Clean. For some fans, Sam Beam could put together a 257-piece band and people would say it was the greatest thing ever because Beam is "branching out," and then rip on others who have a different opinion. Meanwhile, others who just want another lo-fi solo acoustic album could be disappointed again.

What boggles the mind is why the latter isn't okay. Fans have been turning away from musicians for years with one simple statement: "I prefer the earlier stuff." People said it about Dylan, The Beatles, R.E.M., The Stones, etc. People have said it about virtually every act that went through a dramatic, mid-career shift in sound. Why isn't it okay to state a preference?

For I&W, if you say something like that, you incur the wrath and judgment of fanboys galore. You're uncultured and uncool if you say that about I&W. Only "real fans" listen to the new stuff. Right. But it's a fanboy badge of honor to say that about virtually any other band that puts out a couple lo-fi albums to start and then hits it big with a later record? Come on.

A LOT of people take umbrage at the apparent disregard this guy has for fans that have been there since the beginning. I saw him on the KEOC tour and it was a mess. There were so many musicians on the stage at the same time, some were standing behind the PA system and you couldn't see them. People in the audience were booing and visibly frustrated.
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35 of 51 people found the following review helpful
By E. Ward
Format:Audio CD
First let me start by saying that I have been an Iron and Wine fan since the Creek Drank the Cradle. Beam has a great voice and has always been a great song writer. I am also all for artists growing and expanding their sound - sometimes it makes a good band great and sometimes it can turn something great into something that's just ok. For Beam and Iron and Wine, I feel that they have unfortunately fallen trap to the later. On the Shepard's dog, he started moving away from the Iron and Wine sound that I love - it was still a good album but not his best. When Kiss Each Other Clean came out, it was a drastic step in another direction - yet, even with that album I was able to find it strong enough as a whole. There were a few awful songs on it but there were enough solid tracks for me to accept the album. With Ghost on Ghost, Iron and Wine has continued with a sound that is nothing like the earlier albums. As mentioned above, for some bands this can be a great thing but for Iron and Wine it has completely ruined a good thing. Don't get me wrong, this album could be good if you stripped out the band or changed the band to something more folky - but with the band and it's current sound, the songs are just simply annoying. For me, this album conjures up images of the loveboat or some cheesy, run down lounge in Reno. Unless Beam shifts back to what made Iron and Wine great to begin with, it's safe to say this is the last I&W album I will purchase - and that's something I never thought I would say.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A step in the wrong direction July 27, 2013
Format:MP3 Music
not I@Ws best album. the music is cluttered and incoherent at times. The overall theme is reminiscent of 70's light rock. Listening through the tracks brought me back to childhood days of watching The Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch. I'm not sure if this was intentional. However, I'd question the judgement of the artist if that were the case.

All and all, not a step in the right direction. 70's light rock is dead and gone for good reason. it was never that great to begin with.

if you like I@W.. I'd probably recommend The Shepherd's Dog or any earlier works over this album.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love the CD> came pretty quick
Published 5 days ago by Mary L. Pirtz
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak effort
12 tracks here (which in my book is barely a full release) only half of which you will be able to differentiate from each other after first listening. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nick Dalton
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite
Gorgeous album. Just listen.
Published 1 month ago by EllenB
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT ARTIST
Heard this on the radio and knew I just had to have it. I'd never heard of this artist before and was so happy to have found the cd. Listen to it a lot now.
Published 2 months ago by Micole D.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as others
This album was not one of their best. Personally, I would recommend "Our Endless Numbered Days". That record rules. Yah.
Published 2 months ago by kujosh
1.0 out of 5 stars Sounds better without the accompaniment; album versions are getting to...
I love his music, but not his last few albums. He is producing what would work as elevator music. It is boring. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JohnB
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam Beam makes pretty music.
I am a long time fan of Iron and Wine. I have seen Sam et al play a few times over the years. I needed this to complete his discography in vinyl. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr Cavooter
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD & glad that I got it.
I read about Iron & Wine in Acoustic Guitar magazine and decided to get "Ghost on Ghost" as a result. It was a gamble for me but I'm very pleased with my choice. Read more
Published 8 months ago by JShack
3.0 out of 5 stars Again, great songs, terrible production
What to say that hasn't already been said? Just like Kiss Each Other Clean, we have here a collection of great songs buried under 70's-style overproduction. Read more
Published 8 months ago by orakle
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!!!
I absolutely cannot get enough of this CD. I just discovered Iron & Wine last summer. This CD is great. I cannot think of any songs I don't like. Read more
Published 8 months ago by S. Andrews
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Topic From this Discussion
Iron and Wine - new lp - Ghost on Ghost
Just listened to the entire album for the first time.... sounds absolutely great.
First Impression stand out tracks....The Desert Babbler , Grass Widows , New Mexico Is No Breeze....
actually I could add more .... this could be the most immediate album since 'Our Endless Numbered Days'. Hope to... Read More
Apr 13, 2013 by P. Curran |  See all 5 posts
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