Iron & Wine - Weed Garden
Iron & Wine
There was a time when every new Iron & Wine release felt like the beginning of a whole new age of music. It was right about the time "Garden State" the Zach Braf directed movie came out and Indie/Folksy music felt like it was everything. That was 2004 and since Iron & Wine have tried and tried, but really failed to re-capture that magic that the first EPs and LPs had. It's not Iron & Wine's fault, they haven't changed it's the world that's new. You find that with a lot of artists, especially in today's disposable culture. Something that worked yesterday feels old and dated today, it's almost the nature of the world today. Somethings break through but they have to be transcendent, Weed Garden unfortunately is not. That doesn't mean though that this record is not perfectly fine, because it is. The sentiments are sweet and the music a nod to Americana and folk that is entirely pleasant. Hell you may even tap your toe on tunes like "Last of Your Rock n' Roll Heroes" but don't expect these tracks to hit you right in the center of the heart as they once may have. It's not all perfectly fine though; "Milkweed" is an absolute jumbled mess that is only three minutes 20 seconds long but feels like it's about six. Iron & Wine usually have one song an album that is just way to extra, and "Milkweed" is certainly one of them.
It used to give you a warm feeling imagining these songs sung from the front porch, but today it feels like hipsters holding on to a moment in time that has passed. The entire album is just begging for some newness something to shape up with Iron & Wine have done for like 15 years now. Taking DIY in the studio was novel idea awhile ago, but now, it has just been done and done to death. It just feels again like sleepy easy indie that isn't going to delight or offend. I keep coming back to this notion that it is ok to be chill and ok to be sleepy with your music, but at some point 15 years in you need to change it up a little to give your listeners a different look. None of this record feels any better than what they have done before and for that reason it's hard to really enjoy it. Just go back and listen to their old albums, not only does it sound the same, the songs are better.
4.8 out of 10