By ANNA SEGNER
It has been three years, but The Avett Brothers are back with their new album, The Carpenter. In many respects, this album is the perfect modern folk album.
The Avett Brothers have a very authentic way in which they use the folk instruments. Nevertheless, they have found a new way to mesh the intensity of both their bluegrass and rock ‘n’ roll style. This album has a lot more slow ballads than their previous album, I and Love and You, which was much more upbeat and electric bluegrass.
The Carpenter is a very thoughtful album; there are heavy themes of life and death, particularly in the song, “The Once and Future Carpenter.” This song is about the life and the movement of life and how ridding yourself of fear of life helps you shed the fear of saying goodbye to it.
The most appealing aspect of this album is the appeal to the common man. The album weighs the very abstract but real troubles of life by relating these issues to things that are real such as nature. The song “Winter in my Heart” relates depression to seasons to show the reality of the depression.
When first hearing The Carpenter, listeners will be wondering where the intensity and excitement of the rock ‘n’ roll banjos and folk instruments that they heard in I and Love and You have gone. Some of that intensity may have been poured into the more heavy themes of life and death in The Carpenter. However, there is an equal balance between the soft ballads and the upbeat songs. The backwoods folk are consistent throughout the whole album. Therefore, it represents a strong folk/rock album that connects with everyday people.