The Avett Brothers: Closer Than Together (American/Republic) - Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Avett Brothers

Closer Than Together


Nov 05, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Grinning North Carolina troubadours The Avett Brothers are approaching their 20-year anniversary of rockin’ country shenanigans and “Closer Than Together” is their response to fatherhood, a post-truth world and, unfortunately, a statement of their empirical wisdom.

It’s a delightful sounding record, clear, clean, and crisp—but this only serves as apt backdrop to the white-bread moralizing of songs like “Bang Bang” which evangelizes against the evils of action movies and the groan-inducing final couplet of the dismal listen-to-your-auntie doldrums of “Long Story Short.”

There’s an element of self-aggrandizement that is impossible to overlook on saccharine-sickly songs like “C-Sections and Railway Trestles,” celebrating one o’ those Avett’s recent parenthood in the most smug fashion imaginable.

Then there are the unimaginable horrors of “New Woman’s World”—an apology song to the women who have now, apparently, been handed the world and the shit state men left it in. It’s got a couple of neat lines, but it’s so impressed with itself it almost trips over its own evidently gigantic, liberal cock.

These guys have always been a little too Nashville, a little too eager to spread the cream cheese; remember, even on legit good albums like I and Love and You or Emotionalism there were songs like the kindergarten slop of “Kick Drum Heart” on the former and the terrible twin “Pretty Girl From…” tunes on the latter.

Yet Closer Than Together is a far cry from the still sadness and sweet-natured songs of those records. It’s a poor album that irks and annoys at every turn, excellent musicianship and performance rendered irrelevant by the turgid material. Exhausting stuff (

Author rating: 4.5/10

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