The Avett Brothers: The Carpenter

The Avett Brothers
The Carpenter
(Universal Republic Records)

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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.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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