The Avett Brothers

Magpie and the Dandelion

Universal Republic

Nov 12, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


"I've got somethin' to say/But it's all vanity," sings Scott Avett on "Vanity." While that may be the case in another context, it's certainly not true of any of the 11 songs on this outstanding release. Having been around long enough to know what works and what doesn'tin songwriting as in personal relationsNorth Carolina's Avett Brothers have filled Magpie and the Dandelion with taut, unaffected verses that dredge the past, weigh damage against possibility, and seek emergence through selflessness and emotional responsibility. "I would not dare take someone/In love with me/Where I'm goin'," goes the gorgeous acoustic tearjerker "Apart From Me"; "Let's find somethin' new to talk about/I'm tired of talkin' 'bout myself," from the banjo-driven country-rock uplifter "Open Ended Life." Backing tracks, if not of particular note, are Nashville-solid, but this music is made on the mic anywayplain-sung lines riding melodies that take time to ripen. There's no show of the musician's life and suffering the rigors, no rural imagery to rest upon; the road the Avetts are on is known to all. (www.theavettbrothers.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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MT
November 12th 2013
6:27am

It’s actually Seth Avett singing on the bulk of the album release of Vanity. Scott has a verse, but it’s not the opening refrain quoted here. #themoreyouknow