The Avett Brothers The Carpenter

The Avett BrothersThe Carpenter
The most striking thing about the Avett Brothers' previous album, I And Love And You (the first one in their extensive catalogue that most current fans heard), was how immediate it sounded. A bunch of guys playing banjos and acoustic guitars, and singing harmony weren't supposed to sound that contemporary; they were supposed to honour the past. The jury of folk purists is still out when it comes to the North Carolina group, and The Carpenter is sure to only complicate matters. Once again produced by Rick Rubin, his touch when it comes to light and shade is ideally suited to Scott and Seth Avetts' heart-wrenching songs. Although the drama is dialled down a touch on The Carpenter, the subject matter is still weighty, particularly Scott's "Life" and "Winter in My Heart." The rock quotient is kept up with "Paul Newman vs. the Demons" and "I Never Knew You," but overall this is a meditative collection that eloquently expresses a great deal of uncomfortable feelings few other songwriters are capable of addressing. (American/Universal)