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Album review: The Avett Brothers’ ‘The Carpenter’ a well-crafted narrative

The Avett Brothers’ new album, “The Carpenter,” tells serious stories. Even though a frequent theme of the album is death or loss, poetic lyrics shine through alongside catchy melodies and irresistibly beautiful harmonies.

While some songs, like “Live And Die,” and “Through My Prayers,” directly mention death, they don’t make the album too dark.

In “A Father’s First Spring,” vocalist Scott Avett sings, “I’ve got to take to the sky / And I’ll tell you what that means for you and I / If I die it’s for you / If I die it’s for you.” The lyrics are quite poetic, detailing his pain over leaving his daughter. The melody sounds like children’s music, and you can imagine your dad soothing you with a very soft voice, assuring you that if he’s to die, it is all for you.

Not only are the songs well written, but the album is also well balanced with warm, serious and a few faster tunes.

On the second track, “Live And Die,” is a soft melody packed with sentimental lyrics such as “I want to love you and more / I want to find you and more / Where do you reside when you hide?”

“Through My Prayers” sounds personal and serious, telling a story about what someone can’t say or wants to say to somebody who is close to dying. A cello and guitar, playing in the background, set off the song’s mood, and the combination of the two instruments gives a sense of sadness.

Also, there are some bouncy songs that will prompt you to tap your feet out of nowhere, such as “Pretty Girl from Michigan,” “I Never Knew You” and “Geraldine.”

Those songs lighten up the album, which is a nice relief from the times it lingers on heavy themes such as death.

The only downside of “The Carpenter” is that it lacks any strong punches to grab the listener’s ear. There were no surprising elements that could’ve pleased our ears more.

Grade: B

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