Half a cup of country rock, a hint of folk, sprinkles of banjo and, last but not least, the little indie cherry on top. The Avett Brothers have the recipe for their eighth studio album Magpie and the Dandelion. The tunes are sweet, all of them.
The band made a decision on this album that musical progression will not be tackled, and in the age of fan anticipation, it may have worked out for the better. Why change a recipe if it tastes good every time? Magpie and the Dandelion offers rich melodies with a beautifully controlled voice throughout the album, making this yet another perfect blend for the Brothers.
They have had better moments with previous albums, not all of the Magpie songs surpass the talent of ‘February Seven’ on their The Carpenter album. But this record is a safe call for fans – nothing over the top, and no way to disappoint. In a way, one must wonder why The Avett Brothers didn’t want to kick things up a notch, and break out of their comfort shell.
Still, there are some songs on the album that play to their good ol’ sound, leading to a permanent “Aha! That’s them!” moment. Songs such as ‘Bring Your Love to Me’, ‘Never Been Alive’, and ‘Good to You’ are truly the home-hitters on this album. The lyrics are like liquid gold, and the songs taste just as sweet.
This is another album that I’d like to call an all-seasons album, which means that you can listen to this album in all moods, in different environments, and at different times of the day. Their sound is everlasting because it’s got hints of the solid rockers from the past, and strategically fits in their indie-folk tunes, which can be enjoyed by all of good taste.
Overall, Magpie and the Dandelion did not impress; it had nothing new to offer and, frankly, not many of their catchy songs came through on this album as much as on their previous albums. But, I will leave this on a good note: the Avett Brothers can understand that old is gold, which is exactly what this album personifies.
For more information on the Avett Brothers, visit www.theavettbrothers.com.