Iron & Wine Ghost on Ghost

Iron & WineGhost on Ghost
If you've ever searched for Iron and Wine at a record store, chances are that you've found songwriter Sam Beam's work in the folk section. The best moments of Ghost on Ghost, however, find him continuing to embrace the lush pop sound he's been moving towards in recent years. "The Desert Babbler" and "New Mexico's No Breeze" are ornately sunny tunes that embrace a smooth A.M. soul sound, while the sprightly bounce of "Grace for Saints and Ramblers" would sound right at home on one of Belle & Sebastian's recent albums. Unfortunately, not all of Ghost on Ghost is quite so successful. "Low Light Buddy of Mine" and "Lovers' Revolution" are bogged down by go-nowhere minor key melodies, while the album's middle section is pretty but unmemorable. While Ghost on Ghost is outstanding in places, it's too uneven to hold up to Beam's best work. (Nonesuch)