The Avett Brothers: The Carpenter
Indie folksters The Avett Brothers are back with their sixth full-length album, The Carpenter. As the name suggests, there is a heightened sense of spirituality (yeah, it’s that carpenter) along with plenty of weighty thoughts throughout the 12 tracks. The brothers have a great ability to emote with their unique blend of bluegrass, rock, blues, and folk and when they’re on top of their game, the songs feel like stirring anthems that get you excited even if you’re not always sure why. While those songs are certainly present, they do occasionally cross the line into sappy and trite as well.
The album starts off strong with “The Once And Future Carpenter,” which shows off their way with words. Then there is the wonderful love song, “Live And Die,” and then crosses the river of tears into the overly sentimental “Winter in My Heart,” which is a little too “super-double-sadness-forever emoticon.” The album has a good deal of variation stylistically ranging from the upbeat, 50’s rock-inspired songs like “Pretty Girl from Michigan” and “I Never Knew You” to the folksy “February Seven” and attempts at harder rock like “Paul Newman vs. The Demons.” But ultimately, the brothers are most memorable when they do what they do best in anthemic songs that build, such as “Down With the Shine,” which gets you excited even if you don’t know why.