Sunday, July 3, 2016


Some different sounds for the Avetts, with the use of their full, seven-piece band, and lots of new ideas coming out. They've worked with producer Rick Rubin before now for four albums, so it's not just that, and really he doesn't put much if anything of his own stamp on their sound. I think it's just a healthy expansion of everything, and that's good, because their particular hybrid of folk and alt-rock was kinda getting on my nerves a bit.

There's quite a big mix of styles here. The title cut has a nice country-rock flow to it, with good fiddle, the kind of song they might have made too epic in the past. I Wish I Was is a campfire cowboy number, understated (hey, that's rare for them), which makes the harmonies quite stirring, with some very enjoyable banjo-guiter interplay. Victims of Life is a Caribbean-flavoured number, a poppy 70's Paul Simon kind of thing. The opening cuts have a gospel-soul richness, but the big shocker hits at cut five, You Are Mine, where the band gets expansive, puts in some synths and sounds like somebody completely different. Thank you.

As the title suggests, there's quite a lot of sadness in the lyrics, mostly love gone wrong, the usual open book writing from the group. The biggest moment comes at the end of I Wish I Was, where we find out what happened after I and Love and You came undone. No, it's "I love you. I'm sorry." It's quite an ambitious, and successful album, I believe.

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