Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Album Review: The Carpenter by the Avett Brothers

Album Review By Sammie Garfinkel

The Carpenter Album Art
Much awaited by devoted fans, The Carpenter comes as a relief for many as it has brought something different for listeners to expect. Those who have listened to the band from its earliest self titled EP in 2000 would confirm this album as the Avett Brothers’ smooth transformation from a somewhat bluegrass folk combo into a soft-rock sound. The band’s newest release, The Carpenter composes its known sweeter sound that listeners know from I and Love and You, but is also able to hold its long standing raw country roots within the harmonies. It is safe to say that the Avett Brothers are pushing forward into a new identity. This album is a testament that reflects the
balance between their pop ambitions and holdings with their traditional bluegrass folk recordings.

The emotionalism of this album depicts what fans love about Avett. The listeners “get took for a ride every time...” with "Down With the Shine", a harmonic confection of their classic banjo-plucking sound and notable songcraft that Avett has so effortlessly created. Life later takes the form of a polite composition of compelling lyrics and a solemn feeling.

Simply put, the theme of death is prominent throughout the Avett Brothers’ work, but is emphasized in this album with a daunting fear. There is also a palpable conflict between good and evil that serves as the somber reminder of the darkness in man.

Scott Avett recently told Rolling Stone, ”I don’t know if the closeness to our hearts that some of these songs have will translate to the people. But I know how impactful and how heavy it is for us.” As a devoted listener, I feel a strong connection at all of their music, but this album especially. There is a sobering truth in the song "February Seven" that encompasses why I love Avett so much: “There's no fortune at the end of the road that has no end, There's no returning to the spoils Once you've spoiled the thought of them, There's no falling back to sleep Once you've woken from the dream, Now I'm rested and I'm ready, I'm rested and I'm ready to begin....”

Sammie Garfinkel is a WYEP 91.3FM intern, as well as a Re(imagine) Media contributor. 

Album Reviews are submitted by the Re(imagine) team to the blog on an individual basis. For more information, or to join the Re(imagine) media team, please email Matthew Spangler at

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