Fans of the singer-songwriter should read this review with caution. I will grant Sam Beam (aka Iron & Wine) a few things upfront, as it is only fair. The first is that these songs were written a long time ago—around the time of his first album in 2002. The second, they were never released until now. And finally, it was 2002—the end of an era marked by boy bands and a conception that men had to be sensitive to their own feelings; we’ve evolved as a society a bit.
“What is this music?” my coworker—as 36-year-old woman—asks me. I tell her. “This is night-night music.” After commenting on her use of the term “night-night,” I agreed. The album is excellent if you want to go to sleep. It is simple. The guitar strumming is rhythmically homogenous and Sam has a very nice voice that never says anything upsetting—just his docile feelings. It is sixteen indiscernible songs with one exception. “Judgment” is a great song. I imagine these tapes he dug up were from a time when he was trying to figure out his sound; they collected dust for a reason. It’s great he wants to share them with his fans, but don’t charge them money for it. »
– Billy Dye