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Monday May 20th

‘Light Verse’: Iron & Wine dives deep into life’s meanings

<p><em>“Light Verse” guides listeners on a deliberate journey exploring life&#x27;s meanings and the aspirations they hold for it (Photo courtesy of </em><a href="https://music.apple.com/us/artist/iron-wine/3274302" target=""><em>Apple Music</em></a><em>).</em></p>

“Light Verse” guides listeners on a deliberate journey exploring life's meanings and the aspirations they hold for it (Photo courtesy of Apple Music).

By Jasmine Lee
Staff Writer

After a seven-year hiatus, Sam Beam, professionally known as Iron & Wine, is back with a methodical and folk-like album, “Light Verse.”

Released on April 26, this 10-track seventh album delves into the themes of acquiring wisdom and embracing fresh perspectives with age. Beam is recognized for his sincere portrayal of emotions and unique perspectives, which are deeply rooted in indie-folk and lo-fi musical styles.

According to NPR, Beam has been involved in music for roughly two decades. In contrast to his earlier works, this album appears to carry a lighter and rejuvenated tone, as if the artist has undergone a significant reset in both character and life perspectives.

Some of my favorite tracks on this album include “You Never Know,” “All in Good Time,” “Taken by Surprise,” “Tears that Don’t Matter” and “Angels Go Home.”

The first track, “You Never Know,” features airy and slightly psychedelic elements that transition into a lively guitar melody. Its lyrics capture moments of uncertainty about life’s direction, yet ultimately find pleasant surprises in the outcome. The song celebrates discovering small joys in life, emanating a strong sense of positivity that leaves me feeling uplifted.

On the third track, “All in Good Time,” the inclusion of American singer-songwriter Fiona Apple adds depth to the romantic and nostalgic story of a separated couple. The blend of acoustic guitar, piano and strings contributes to the song’s timeless rustic Americana sound, evoking a feeling of nostalgia. The alternating verses between the two singers highlight the journey of the lovers as they progress from hurting each other to finding healing and maturity.

“Taken by Surprise” is a melancholic ballad that delves into the theme of lost love. This is conveyed through the somber melody intertwined with wistful orchestral strings and the gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar, accompanied by a rhythmic drum beat resembling a heartbeat. Despite revolving around the sorrowful topic of regret, the song manages to evoke a feeling of warmth in the soul, as the protagonist still holds a fondness for their past lover.

The eighth track, “Tears that Don’t Matter,” is an unusual song that required multiple listens for me to grasp the intricate and deliberate artistry behind both its melody and lyrics. One can hear the song’s tempo quickening, symbolizing the fleeting and transient nature of certain aspects of life. The lyrics highlight how small details may not hold significant importance in the grand scheme of life. 

The final track, “Angels Go Home,” carries a poignant yet cryptic message. What stands out in Beam’s music is his inclination for metaphorical and open-to-interpretation lyrics. Upon analyzing the song's lyrics, I interpreted them as suggesting that despite the diverse paths we traverse in life, we ultimately share the same destination. Beam prompts us to ponder our purpose on Earth and the significance of our pursuits that consume our time and energy.

Ultimately, this album is a unique blend of peculiarity, enjoyment and emotion. If you relish delving into song lyrics and dissecting their meanings to form your interpretations, then listening to all 10 tracks in one go is definitely worthwhile.




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