Back in August, John Mayer dropped his second album in fifteen months. Paradise Valley pretty much sound like the cheerier B-side to Born and Raised. Something must be in the water supply on the folk-rock circuit because The Avett Brothers are back with Magpie and the Dandelion just thirteen months after the release of their last one. After recording the folk version of U2 album I and Love and You, the band reconvened with producer Rick Rubin to release their most mellow, traditional folk album The Carpenter and had enough material left over to release an entirely new album.
Much like the latest John Mayer album, Magpies and Dandelion definitely sound like it was recorded during The Carpenter session (probably because it was) but may even be mellower than its predecessor. One of the few upbeat tracks, which happen to be the best song, Another Is Waiting which harkens back to the group’s pre-Rubin days ware their sound was more raw and unrefined. Other than that, one of the few other upbeat tracks is the album opener Open Ended Life which featured a rare electric guitar. Do not worry Avett purists, it is a sign of a new direction and the song also features plenty of banjo and even a harmonica for good measure.
I do wish that Open Ended Letter was sign of a slight change in direction because most of the rest of the album just comes off as B-sides of songs off The Carpenter. Really. Magpies and Dandelion and The Carpenters is essentially just a double album just happened to be released a year apart. The album does deviate a few other times from the mellower side of folk, Morning Song soars like then anthemic songs from I and Love and You or the sweet vocals and acoustic guitar live track Sounds Like the Wheels (if you have never seen The Avett Brothers live or at the very least listen to one of their live albums, remedy that soon). Still, if The Avett Brothers release another album in just thirteen months, I will not be complaining.
Song to Download – Another Is Waiting
Magpies and Dandelion gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.