16, Maybe Less [Iron & Wine / Calexico]

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16, Maybe Less [Iron & Wine / Calexico]

Unread postby musicmonkey » Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:01 am

16, Maybe Less

Beyond the ridge to the left
You asked me what I want
Between the trees and cicadas singing 'round the pond
I spent an hour with you
should I want anything else

One grin and wink
like the neon on a liquor store
We were 16, maybe less,
maybe a little more
I walked home smiling
I finally had a story to tell

And now in autumn time, Lullaby
sing our newborn love to sleep
My brother told me he saw you there
In the woods, one Christmas Eve


I met my wife at a party
When I drank too much
My son is married
and tells me we don't talk enough
Call it predictable, yesterday my dream was of you

Beyond the ridge to the west
The sun had left the sky
Between the trees and the pond
You put your hand in mine
Said, "Time has bridled it's bow
but I remember you too"

And though an autumn time, Lullaby
sang our newborn love to sleep
I dreamed I traveled and found you there
In the woods, one Christmas Eve

Artist: Iron & Wine / Calexico
Album: In the Reins EP [2005]
Label: Overcoat Recordings

Tim Sendra of All Music Guide wrote:Musical collaborations can be a dicey proposition. The blending of two styles and sounds can lead to the cancellation of the aspects of each that make them interesting and unique in the first place, which in turn leads to an inferior record. Iron & Wine and Calexico decided to tempt fate and hook up in 2004 and In the Reins is the result. The record manages to blend the best aspects of the two groups and comes off a winner in all respects. You get Iron & Wine's melodicism, emotional depth, and literary grace backed by Calexico's desert-bleached C&W orchestral splendor. The record is probably pitched more in the I&W camp as Iron & Wine's Sam Beam wrote all the songs and sings his moody miniature portraits of desperation in a breathy, shivers-down-your-spine croon. Calexico color in his compositions with pedal steels, vibraphone, and meandering trumpets, and lead them out of the insular Florida swamp and into the wide-screen West. None of Beam's songs feel like between-album throwaways and in fact a few rate among his best (the aching and staggeringly beautiful "Dead Man's Will," "He Lays in Rains"). They almost all sound wonderful; the wider range of musical colors opens up his songs and brings in some moods and sounds you might not expect on an Iron & Wine record. Case in point is "A History of Lovers," which comes equipped with a boogie beat, a glittering Vegas horn section, and actually rocks out very convincingly. Calexico really pulls a rabbit out of the hat there as Beam is about the last person in the music biz you would expect to rock out convincingly. The only place where the pairing falters is on the slick and facile "Red Dust," which starts off as an intimate blues ballad with just Beam and guitars, then shifts to a barroom bluesy stomp featuring some very clichéd harp soloing. Luckily, it is a brief misstep that doesn't wreck an otherwise excellent record. Fans of both bands will want to get In the Reins because it rates favorably with their best work and on a couple of songs ("A History of Lovers," "Dead Man's Will") the sum of their collaboration creates music greater than their parts. A rare and wonderful occurrence that; don't let it slip past you.

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