This post was written by Hatchet reporter Carson Rolleri.
The latest album by the musical quartet the Avett Brothers provides plenty of sweet vocals and glowing melodies that have come to define the group. From start to finish, the album is full of “youthful wonder,” as the band describes.
The single, “Another is Waiting,” epitomizes an Avett Brothers’ song: It’s sweet, upbeat, filled with warm strings and a strong vocals, while the lyrics focus on moving past an inherent shallowness in being an entertainer. The playful melodies move into a much deeper meaning found in the band’s most famous songs “I and Love and You” and “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise.”
“Morning Song” takes on a more solemn tone, with vibrant but haunting guitar and piano harmonies complementing the song’s message of loss. “Open Ended Life”, the album opener, works to counterbalance these slower songs with an upbeat, Americana instrumental background that supports the album’s overarching call to live out of one’s comfort zone.
By “Clearness is Gone”, the album achieves a well-balanced dynamic that includes both fun youthful melodies but also touches on issues of everyday intimacy. As NPR’s Stephen Thompson puts it, the album, “feels like a calmly loving missive from friends who offer wise counsel, but know well enough to interrogate their own motives along the way.”
“Magpie and the Dandelion” provides some of the Avett Brothers’ classic raw roots that were polished in the Grammy-nominated album, “The Carpenter”. But Dandelion is able to keep the same self-explorative messages and honest songwriting woven into each track. Overall, it’s a more than a satisfying follow-up.
This post was updated on Oct. 15, 2013 to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the Avett Brothers’ last album, “The Carpenter,” won a Grammy. It was just nominated for one.