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Average customer review:
(15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Sales Rank: #3 in Digital Music Album
- Published on: 2012-09-11
- Released on: 2012-09-11
- Running time: 2797 seconds
Customer ReviewsMost helpful customer reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Streamlined, but super consistent / super satisfying
By T. A. Daniel
Sometime after 2000, bluegrass and folk music started to experience a revival - bands were springing up from all parts of the western world playing music that was influenced by folksy do-it-yourself songwriting. It would be hard to say that the Avett Brothers aren't at least partly responsible for this uprising. The band has been around since the early 2000's, releasing 6 full-length records since their inception (among a ton of other releases) - their latest release is not only the 7th for the band, but it's also the second with Rick Rubin helming production duties. Rubin, who's worked with everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Jay Z to Johnny Cash, helped the band shave away some of their grittier aspects to make way for the infectious melodies of 2009's I AND LOVE AND YOU. 2012's THE CARPENTER finds the Avett Brothers continuing where they left off.
If I had to describe the Avett Brothers' sound, I'd say it falls somewhere between the blue-grassy stained Old Crow Medicine Show and the indie-sensibilities of Mumford & Sons. The album begins with "The Once and Future Carpenter," a song that relies on the band's trademark Americana lyrics. Following the first track, the album hits it's groove with three fantastic songs in a row ("Live and Die," "Winter in My Heart," and "Pretty Girl from Michigan.") The second track, "Live and Die" serves as the lead single promoting THE CARPENTER. It's an upbeat track, but it's defined by its dominant melody - it's a song that will be hard to get out of your head with lyrics to match: "Can't you tell that I am alive? Let me prove it to you." The next track, "Winter in My Heart" is one of the more somber tracks on the album. It begins with only vocals and guitar, but it slowly develops into a more haunting ballad - it strikes a balance of being both beautiful and heartbreaking. After the last notes play out, "Pretty Girl from Michigan" changes the pace considerably - if the previous track was one of the softest on the record, this track is one of the more rocking.
While I do think that the album peaks early, the remaining 7 tracks are not to be scoffed at. THE CARPENTER could be the Avett Brothers' most consistently satisfying release yet. "Through My Prayers" is a nice ballad that wears its sincerity like a badge of honor. "Down With the Shine" ventures towards blue-grass territory with wonderful results - its swaying melody (and horn section) is hard to resist. The upbeat "Geraldine" only lasts barely over a minute and a half, but it makes a lasting impression on the album. The album concludes with "Life," a final ballad with beautiful harmonies that just hits all the right notes. It's a terrific ending, and I think it's a great complement to the tonal qualities of the album's opener, "The Once and Future Carpenter."
The Avett Brothers made their name by working - their albums are earnest, sincere, and feel lived-in. The same kind of craftsmanship a carpenter would show for a piece of woodworking the band show with each record they release, and THE CARPENTER is no exception. For me, this might be the most consistently satisfying Avett Brothers record to date. I would recommend this album to anyone who enjoys Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, or Old Crow Medicine Show. Essential tracks to sample/download: "Live And Die," "Pretty Girl From Michigan" and "Winter In My Heart."
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
Vintage Avetts, With a Touch of New
By Eddie S. Michaels
One of the things that has drawn me to the music of the Avett Brothers for a few years now has been their uncanny ability to produce consistently hypnotic music without allowing a particular generic label to be attributed to it. Really, no matter your particular taste in musical style, the Avetts somehow find a way to tap into in, provide each listener with their own personal experience, while simultaneously giving it that "Avett Brothers sound," whatever that might actually be.
For me, the 3-year wait was well worth it..."The Carpenter" is genuinely and unmistakably Avett Brothers to the core: the beautiful, melodic harmony of the vocals, the gritty, biting sound of the banjo mixed with beautiful string work by Joe Kwon and Bob Crawford, and the clever, poetic genius of the lyrics...It is all so easily recognizable as the Avett Brothers. And yet, with this new record, they've successfully ventured into a totally new world that reflects the maturation process they've gone through both as people and as musicians. The lyrics in songs like "The Once and Future Carpenter," "Through My Prayers," and "A Father's First Spring" illustrate a new-found awareness of life, death, and the driving forces that keep us all going.
You'll find a pleasant mix of unforgettable, up-tempo romps ("Geraldine," "Live and Die") and slow, melodic ballads perfect for those long, silent, thoughtful drives through the country-side ("Winter in My Heart," "February Seven," "Life"). For me, though, to finally hear full studio versions of two of my long-time favorites from live shows ("Pretty Girl from Michigan" and "Down With the Shine") may just be the highlights of the record.
There's no question the Avett Brothers grew as artists on this new album, but for all of the expectations and hype placed upon by myself and other TAB fans out there, they certainly did not disappoint. If you are a fan of the Avetts, it's a must-have. And if you're not, take a listen anyway. I guarantee you'll hear something you like.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
Avett Brothers growing up?
The Avett Brothers albums in my mind since Mignonette have been epic. This is epic. This is Avett. This is, however, quite different and more akin to I and Love and You.
Its been a while, three years I guess since their last album, and as they sing in "February Seven", "they are rested and ready to begin". What you get is a lot of really intricate and powerful ballads that are stripped down and intimate but more often laden with cello and piano than in the past. February Seven and Fathers First Spring are probably my favorites, but Winter in My Heart is soooooo lonely and intense.
While there are numerous ballads on this album, you do get some more classic-ish Avett uptempo songs that, for better or worse, you will wake up singing. If its any song on the album, I bet you $1 it will be the Live and Die. In fact the simple melody, and banjo play will have you singing along EVEN WHEN YOU DONT KNOW THE WORDS. Its like magic. Pretty Girl in Michigan is different, almost some type of throwback doo-wopish type song that I'm struggling to pin, but its catchy. Geraldine and I Never Knew You also more upbeat.
The one song that I am really curious to hear what long time Avett purists say is Paul Newman vs. The Demons... um, its more electric than anything they are used to, that I promise.
What you don't get in this album are raucous and edgy vocal front songs, and you don't get as much banjo. You get DEEPER far more intricate songs with more cello and piano, but lyrically... super solid, but I'm still digesting this.
If you liked I and Love and You, you are going to like this. Its somewhat like someone took your oldest most comfortable jeans and took a few minutes updating them with a bedazzler. You can still feel Avett, and the color is the same but its just a little different, with a little different sparkle.
Definitely worth a shot. Thanks for the read.
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