Iron & Wine
Ghost on Ghost - NONESUCH
FILTER Grade: 79%
By Kyle Lemmon on April 18, 2013
Iron & Wine’s fifth album is another dependably verdant set of Southern Gothic tunes. Much like his 2011 major-label debut, Kiss Each Other Clean, Ghost on Ghost is teeming with judicious lyricism and jazzy doodles. Fans who prefer the singer-songwriter’s early albums over his newer AM radio jams may still tune out. Sam Beam’s wily flirtations with girl-group chants and country-politan pageantry entices in fits and starts. Unfortunately, Ghost on Ghost’s midsection suffers from some genre weariness and similitude. Longtime Beam collaborator Rob Burger (Tin Hat Trio) handled the string and horn arrangements and impressive jazz session players bolster even the weaker moments. Final track “Baby Center Stage” is a reminder that Beam can still deliver beautiful country ballads about love, life and the bewitching power of the American landscape.