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Rock - Released June 24, 2016 | RRE, LLC - Republic

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Rock - Released October 4, 2019 | Republic Records

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The Avett Brothers — led by siblings Scott and Seth — have the rare gift of understanding the voice as a musical instrument and not just icing on top. Nowhere is that more clear on their 10th album than the Simon and Garfunkel-esque "Tell the Truth." And it's always worth listening to what the lead vocals have to say. Folksy "We Americans" wonders if you can be patriotic while also wrestling with the ugliness of slavery and "the arrogance of Manifest Destiny." "C Sections and Railway Trestles" uses childbirth for clever wordplay: "You came out looking like a Smurf in a battle/Me in the nosebleeds, mama in the saddle." The piano pop of "Bang Bang" makes a gorgeous bed to lament about moving to the country for peace and quiet — only to live next to armed neighbors "pretending to be Rambo." Perhaps the most delightful surprise is the opener: The Avetts doing '70s rock might suggest some Southern jam session, but with stomping drums and searing guitars, not to mention a piano breakdown and epic build back up, "Bleeding White" is worthy of Queen. © Qobuz
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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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Rock - Released October 4, 2019 | Republic Records

The Avett Brothers — led by siblings Scott and Seth — have the rare gift of understanding the voice as a musical instrument and not just icing on top. Nowhere is that more clear on their 10th album than the Simon and Garfunkel-esque "Tell the Truth." And it's always worth listening to what the lead vocals have to say. Folksy "We Americans" wonders if you can be patriotic while also wrestling with the ugliness of slavery and "the arrogance of Manifest Destiny." "C Sections and Railway Trestles" uses childbirth for clever wordplay: "You came out looking like a Smurf in a battle/Me in the nosebleeds, mama in the saddle." The piano pop of "Bang Bang" makes a gorgeous bed to lament about moving to the country for peace and quiet — only to live next to armed neighbors "pretending to be Rambo." Perhaps the most delightful surprise is the opener: The Avetts doing '70s rock might suggest some Southern jam session, but with stomping drums and searing guitars, not to mention a piano breakdown and epic build back up, "Bleeding White" is worthy of Queen. © Qobuz
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Rock - Released January 1, 2009 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

Fans held their breath when Rick Rubin took the Avett Brothers under his wing. What would the co-head of Columbia Records -- a man known for recording rap-rock albums and resurrecting Johnny Cash's late career -- do with a small-time folk trio? The answer is "relatively nothing," as the band's major-label debut continues charting the same musical course as Emotionalism and Mignonette. The Avett Brothers have expanded their reach since 2000, adding elements of pop and hillbilly country-rock to a bluegrass foundation, and they carry on that tradition with I and Love and You, whose songs introduce a new emphasis on piano and nuanced arrangements. Working with a major label's budget allows the group to add small flourishes -- a cello line here, a keyboard crescendo there -- but the resulting music is hardly grand, focusing on textures rather than volume. Scott and Seth Avett share vocals throughout the album, delivering their lyrics in a speak-sing cadence that, at its best, sounds both tuneful and conversational. Given the opportunities presented here -- the ability to add strings, organs, and harmonium to the mix -- the two devote more time to slower songs, which display those sonic details better. The result is an intimate, poignant album, laced with rich production that often takes as much spotlight as the songwriting itself. ~ Andrew Leahey
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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | RRE, LLC - Republic

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The Carpenter, the sixth studio album (and second with producer Rick Rubin) from North Carolina’s Avett Brothers, is as amiable, quaint, mischievous, sad, and disarmingly sincere as its predecessor, landing somewhere between the easy, late summer nostalgia of Ron Sexsmith, the wise and wounded defiance of the Band, and the harmony-laden, pop-laced melancholy of the Jayhawks. Chillier and less piano-heavy than 2009's I and Love and You, The Carpenter feels like both an exorcism and a benediction, bringing down the magnifying glass on the myriad complexities of death while maintaining an unwavering sense of optimism, a delicate balance that's best exemplified on the lovely opener "The Once and Future Carpenter," a dusty, sprawling, yet meticulously crafted '70s folk-rock stunner that's built around the notion that "If I live the life I'm given I won’t be scared to die." That adherence to maverick decency permeates much of the album, dutifully utilizing the outlaw country archetype of the weary traveler in search of an honest woman and a respite from the spiritual grind of the open road. Scott and Seth Avett's glassy tenors may not harbor the grit and grime of Waylon Jennings or Townes Van Zandt, but set piece ballads like the bittersweet "February Seven" and "Winter in My Heart," the latter of which is pure Red Headed Stranger-era Willie Nelson with a bigger arsenal of chords, ache with the kind of weary, pre-dawn fervor that usually accompanies a wanderlust binge. It's not all tears and beers though, as evidenced by more propulsive cuts like the bouncy, banjo-led "Live and Die," "I Never Knew You," a skiffle-soaked takedown of an ex-lover, replete with stereo-panned Beatles harmonies, and the left-field, feedback-drenched art rocker "Paul Newman vs. the Demons," but it's the quieter moments that really resonate, despite what the group's notoriously kinetic live shows may suggest. At its heart, which is most definitely on its sleeve, The Carpenter is a relatively simple, country-folk record, albeit one with a college degree, and when it connects it hits that sweet spot between joy and despair that has served as the target for many a dusty brimmed singer/songwriter over the years. The Avett Brothers aren’t rewriting the book, they're just translating it for a new generation. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Rock - Released December 18, 2015 | RRE, LLC - Republic

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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | RRE, LLC - Republic

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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | RRE, LLC - Republic

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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | RRE, LLC - Republic

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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | RRE, LLC - Republic

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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | RRE, LLC - Republic

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Rock - Released February 1, 2019 | Republic Records

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Rock - Released December 18, 2015 | RRE, LLC - Republic

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Rock - Released June 24, 2016 | RRE, LLC - Republic

There's a melancholy to the title of the Avett Brothers' 2016 album True Sadness, but the album's tone doesn't mirror its name. Certainly, there's a bit of a sorrowful undercurrent, something that surfaces on "Divorce Separation Blues," but often there's a buoyancy to the music's spirit, a lightness that's evident even in the burnished bluegrass ballads, tunes where the harmonies and plucked strings combine into a sense of sweetness. Always throwbacks at heart, the Avett Brothers temper their rough-hewn retro affectations by brightening the corners with hints of electronic rhythms and polish, a sly update executed with precision by Rick Rubin. Despite this breezy modern air, the Avett Brothers and Rubin alike are on firmer ground when the amplifiers are cranked just loud enough to growl and the rhythms lumber along with the slow, hazy crawl of Southern rock. This heavier attack distinguishes the Avett Brothers from the ranks of standard-issue Americana -- a genre where austere authenticity often matters more than gut-level force -- but what distinguishes True Sadness from previous Avett albums is how this force intermingles with lighter moments. Sometimes this airiness is evident in ballads that indeed carry a melancholic pull; sometimes the levity derives from those camouflaged electronic elements, moments that play like sun drifting in from parted clouds. Tonally, these seemingly conflicted feelings match because they play like the sadness is slowly lifting away. Far from being an album for wallowing in the depths of grief, True Sadness is a record about the emergence of hope. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released December 21, 2018 | Republic Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | RRE, LLC - Republic

Recorded at the same sessions that produced 2012's The Carpenter, 2013's Magpie and the Dandelion doesn't play like leftovers, which is to the credit of both the Avett Brothers and their producer Rick Rubin. Magpie and the Dandelion consciously evokes past Americana, stretching back beyond the Band but anchored there, often incorporating a harder-rocking edge reminiscent of former Rubin patrons Black Crowes. The key to appreciating the Avett Brothers is to realize they see themselves as heirs to this tradition, happy to accentuate their rustic roots with banjos and weary harmonies because they suggest authenticity. Where their real strength lies is not in instrumental virtuosity or song (although many of the tunes here are sturdy enough) but rather in feel: they capture an indistinct past where guitars are an enduring virtue. Perhaps the Avetts are best when they run a little bit loose and ragged, letting the tempos push a little bit hard, allowing their harmonies to clash and happy to have their loose ends remain untied. Often, this means that the ballads are just a shade too tidy -- they're mannered in a way almost none of the rest of the record is -- but still Magpie and the Dandelion underscores how the appeal of the Avett Brothers remains in their indebtedness to the past without being bogged down by its legacy. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | Republic Records

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Rock - Released June 13, 2019 | Republic Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | RRE, LLC - Republic

Recorded at the same sessions that produced 2012's The Carpenter, 2013's Magpie and the Dandelion doesn't play like leftovers, which is to the credit of both the Avett Brothers and their producer Rick Rubin. Magpie and the Dandelion consciously evokes past Americana, stretching back beyond the Band but anchored there, often incorporating a harder-rocking edge reminiscent of former Rubin patrons Black Crowes. The key to appreciating the Avett Brothers is to realize they see themselves as heirs to this tradition, happy to accentuate their rustic roots with banjos and weary harmonies because they suggest authenticity. Where their real strength lies is not in instrumental virtuosity or song (although many of the tunes here are sturdy enough) but rather in feel: they capture an indistinct past where guitars are an enduring virtue. Perhaps the Avetts are best when they run a little bit loose and ragged, letting the tempos push a little bit hard, allowing their harmonies to clash and happy to have their loose ends remain untied. Often, this means that the ballads are just a shade too tidy -- they're mannered in a way almost none of the rest of the record is -- but still Magpie and the Dandelion underscores how the appeal of the Avett Brothers remains in their indebtedness to the past without being bogged down by its legacy. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine