Sound — 9
The Avett Brothers - a pair of twin brothers with a punk rock sound a midst various folk/acoustic instruments. While the first few Avett Brothers' albums featured a "country-esk" sound, this is the first of what I hope to be many, "punkgrass" albums. The album includes song such as "Die Die Die", "Paranoia In B Major", "Will You Return, and "Pretty Girl From Chili", all of which have some elements of punk and folk rock. Another side of The Avett Brothers, which shows in songs such as "The Ballad Of Love And Hate" and "I Would Be Sad", is their emotional side. As the album title suggests, they can (lyrically and melodically) harness some deep thoughts, regrets, and reflections.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrics in "Emotionalism focus on the raw emotion of the human spirit. And while I've described it in a complex way, the lyrics suggest a more simple approach. The lyrics are simple but oh so original. Lyrics from "Paranoia In B Major": "There was a time I could move there was a time I could breathe The crowded spaces filled with angry faces It didn't once cross my mind With paranoia on my heels; Will you love me still when we awake and you find that the sanity has gone from my eyes?" One unique aspect of what seems to be each and every Avett Brothers album is the incorporation of a song titled "Pretty Girl From (blank)..." Each song corresponding with a different girl, different city, time and attitude. In this case, "Pretty Girl From Chili" reflects on time spent with Gabrielle, a girl the boys met in Chili. The lyrics point out regret and the feeling of failure, admitting fault and blending it with a Hispanic beat and melody. Lyrics from "Pretty Girl From Chili": "And the love and the attention That you need and ask me for Are weakened by my actions And lies that I have told I'm scared to think that I've abandoned you I'd like to say that I'm a faithful man but it may not be true"
Overall Impression — 9
Looking back on this album after the release of their latest album "I And Love And You", it was a turning point. Compared to their earlier released music, it grew out of the standard "country/bluegrass" field and expanded into a very rapidly growing super genre - "punkgrass". The well played tracks only tempt you to search deeper into the Avett universe and look harder and longer into the album itself. Combined with the knowledge of the direction they've taken their music into with their most current release, this album is a must have. For fans of Avett, bluegrass, country and even punk.