The Avett Brothers recently released their new album The Carpenter, the follow-up to their 2009 album I And Love And You. The Carpenter is our Featured Album this week. Here’s a review of the album by WXPN’s Mike Vasilikos:
Their latest is an album that continues to distance the band from their early image as a rambunctious bluegrass act and settle them into a place where craftsmanship takes center stage. Perhaps that’s where the title, The Carpenter, comes from (or maybe not) – but on this latest collection it really is about the songs. It’s something that Scott & Seth have always excelled at, but was perhaps easy to overlook because of how dynamic and engaging they are (and continue to be) in performance. The Avett’s are still as engaging as ever on The Carpenter, their approach just slightly remodeled.
To say that they’ve changed their approach is probably a fair statement, but it’s hardly a surprise. With I And Love And You, the band and producer Rick Rubin found success showcasing these guys as genuine songwriters. And while that may be the case, they’re far from subdued. These songs take flight, and tunes like “Geraldine” and “Paul Newman vs. The Demons” are reminiscent of early Avetts and still hold the potential to be barn-burners in front of a live audience. Yet what we saw on I And Love And You and even more so on The Carpenter is that there is a lot of charm to these songs. They can be bouncy and fun on a song like “I Never Knew You” and reflective and thoughtful on songs like “Through My Prayers” and “Winter in My Heart.” No matter the song, this band has such a dynamic personality infused in what they do – it just naturally shines through. The core to what The Avett Brothers have always done is write compelling songs; they accentuate that on The Carpenter. This is still the same band, just a bit more focused and really honing in on their strengths.
Listen to some of our favorite songs from the album below and watch the video they did in the tour bus at WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival this past July.