Written By: Lindsey Hecht
Label: American – Rating:
Ingredients to musical genius cascade over me each time I hear The Avett Brothers take the stage. I’ve seen them live three times now: once in a massive gorge as the sun set over a canyon filled with water, once for a toured show put on in a musical theater, and finally got the chance to hear them live in an intimate setting on the front porch of my workplace with no more than 100 people. I stand by my word, and in no way can I be swayed when I say that in every setting The Avett Brothers manage to excel at what they do best: perform.
Popping strings left and right during shows, they have been playing for years across the country, but only recently have they become famous in the public eye. Though their names are Scott, Seth and Bob – to me they might as well be called ‘The Harmonious Superheroes.’ The Avett Brothers, as humbled and normal as they are in real life, can’t refute the fact that they have reached a new level of modern day music with their newest album I and Love and You. Their ability to harmonize with one another, while hopping from instrument to instrument between songs, is simply innate talent. They were born to play, tour, sing, entertain and if that isn’t enough – they were also born to write. The lyrics in their music are well thought out, heart-felt and just plain breathtaking.
Often over-looked for being a little less catchy is their ninth album track, ‘Ill with want.’ However, for me, the lyrics immediately jumped out and the song became a quick favorite as a result of its sheer honesty.” I am sick with wanting and it’s evil and it’s daunting / How I let everything I cherish lay to waste / I am lost in greed, this time it’s definitely me / I point fingers but there’s no one there to blame.”
But as said above, this album is great for more than just lyrics. ‘Kick Drum Heart,’ is clever as they integrate the instruments to manifest the lyrics: “M-My heart like a kick drum,” paired with an 8-count of powerful thumps. And ‘Laundry Room’ demonstrates their ability rock-out hard and fast as a cohesive band of raw force, while ‘Slight Figure of Speech’ shows that the band can even Rap, not to mention that they do it well!
As a band of three (though joined by Joe Kwon on the cello), they cover Banjo, Rhythm Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Drum Kit, Percussion, Hammond B-3, Mandolin, Glockenspiel, and Stand-up Bass. Off the bat, you might refer to them as a folk-blues or country band, but please don’t! This group has so much more to offer than what meets the initial ear – and if you think they’re not your genre, I still urge you to give them a chance because I guarantee you’ll find something else about them to love. As they revolutionize simple music with complex meaning, they have often been referred to as ‘The Beatles of Bluegrass.’
I highly recommend you go out and buy this album – and although any homage I give to this band will not nearly do them justice, I end this review with 4 flaming-hot, fired guns and say to The Avett Brothers: “I and Love and You.”