Iron & Wine

The Creek Drank the Cradle
/sub pop; 2002/

rating : 7.5



more info:

What really got me into this record is the third song, the lovely Faded from the Winter. I think the main reason why I loved it instantly is because it kinda starts like a song from one of Elliott Smith's gorgeous three first albums. One more time I will tell all the people who think XO and Figure 8 are Elliott Smith's best albums that they're wrong : you're wrong, smart ass. 

Well. I'm sitting here in front of the computer, 5 PM, writing this while my dad is chit-chatting with : his 32 years old 4 months pregnant girlfriend, a South American friend and a gorgeous friend of his girlfriend. they're about to go to the City Hall to make their unholy alliance administratively convenient. I invited a boy to go to the movies two hours ago and he told me he was working tonight, so I'll go with friends instead. Friends are cool too, even though you don't usually end up having sex with them. 

The cool thing about this album is the production. When I said earlier that it sounded like early Elliott Smith, I was not kidding. Dubbed acoustic guitars morph into a wooden sea of sound and dubbed vocals create an intimate setting, lit by an additional banjo/guitar/harmonica part. It sounds cozy and comfortable, a fireplace in winter. The guy singing, playing and producing is named Samuel Beam, and he has a beard. 

I'm not a big folk/songwriter fan, I love Elliott Smith, I like Hayden a lot, I listen to Will Oldham once in a while but I end up being very often bored by albums with a heavy traditional influence. Some of the songs on the album (the Rooster Moans) sound very folk-ish, the 19th century way. A bit of country here and there but thankfully Beam keeps it low and cosy and comfortable. Upward Over the Mountain is a lovely piece of a song, moving and all. The main difference between Beam and, say, Elliott Smith is that Beam's songs are mostly about nature and drug-free relationships. The blues-y An Angry Blade is a dark song, floating on top of two intertwined riffs and a layer of haunted vocals. The end of the album is gorgeous, Muddy Hymnal, the album's closer is a weary lullaby I could swear I've heard before. This is probably the main reason why I like The Creek Drank the Cradle: I have the soothing feeling that I've already been there.     

-Barbara H

/feb 1st 2002/