Album Reviews: Iron & Wine, Fergus & Geronimo

Unlearn by Fergus & Geronimo

There are scattered records, then there are completely disjointed ‘clusterfucks’ like “Unlearn”. This isn’t even to say that all of “Unlearn” was bad (a sizeable portion was). I really liked “Powerful Lovin”, an alt-sockhop slow dance song for the ages.  Sounds kind of like if Quentin Terrentino directed Grease. Also, “Baby Don’t You Cry” was a really enjoyable ‘garagey’ pop rock jam with plenty of fast paced “lala’s” to go around. But to say that much of “Unlearned” lacked direction or focus would be putting it lightly. Because, not only were some of the songs like “Wanna Know What I Would Do?” puzzling, but they were frankly really bad. Some groups excel when they get ‘goofier’. Fergus & Geronimo aren’t one of them. Hopefully, in the future they stick to the brand soulful ‘retro garage pop’ that they seem to have a real knack for.

Powerful Lovin’

Baby Don’t You Cry
Unlearn: 2.5 out of 5.

Kiss Each Other Clean by Iron & Wine

After the successful experiment with the sound of a full supporting band in “Sheperds dog” , “Kiss Eachother Clean” seems like the next logical but bold evolutionary step for Sam Beam. The album features a completely new, fully flushed out sound for the folk icon, complete with choral arrangements, jazz/funk moments, plenty of reverb and other electronic elements. The end result is gorgeous. It’s a warm record and still as intimate as anything Iron & Wine has ever released, even despite all of the new moving parts.

I saw sinners making music
I’ve dreamt of that sound, dreamt of that sound

To me the parallels between “Kiss Each Other Clean” and Sufjan’s “Age of Adz” are less than subtle. Both artists seemed to completely reinvent there sound while still probably leaving something there that old fans would still get enjoyment out of. Even the lead tracks “I Walked” by Sufjan and “Walking Far From Home” by Iron & Wine seem shockingly similar in a lot of ways (their names being one of them). The one major difference between the two albums is that “Kiss Each Other Clean” is light years more accessible and inviting.

Walking Far From Home MP3

Tree By The River Download

Kiss Each Other Clean: 4.5 out of 5.


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