The first two cuts on the Avett Brothers' Four Thieves Gone, "Talk of Indolence" and "Pretty Girl from Feltre," reveal that the brothers' style of folk (with lots of other stuff thrown into the mix) is intriguingly left of center. And while some listeners may be somewhat tired of depressed college types who sing, "Be loud, let your colors show.. ...
The first two cuts on the Avett Brothers' Four Thieves Gone, "Talk of Indolence" and "Pretty Girl from Feltre," reveal that the brothers' style of folk (with lots of other stuff thrown into the mix) is intriguingly left of center. And while some listeners may be somewhat tired of depressed college types who sing, "Be loud, let your colors show...try to keep the madness low" in a nasal drone, they're probably not used to hearing the singer backed by kitchen-sink arrangements that include piano, harmonica, and shouting that stands in for background singing. On "Distraction #74" the band verves in an entirely different direction, doing its best impression of the basement-era Band, updated for the post-millennium. As the album moves on to tracks like "Sixteen in July," "Left on Laura, Left on Lisa," and "A Lover Like You," the Avett Brothers -- Scott Avett, Seth Avett, and Bob Crawford -- continue to make good music, but these songs lack the raw energy of the first four tracks. Things pick up again on the jumpy "Matrimony," and "Pretend Love" has a lovely, gentle feel about it, but the songs, though quite good, fail to match the intensity of the openers. One feels, in the end, that Four Thieves Gone, at nearly 74 minutes, is just too darn long. Nonetheless, the Avett Brothers' style is much fresher and more fun than the average folk or alternative country group's, and is well worth checking out for those tired of the same old, same old. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi
New in new packaging. Originally released: 2006. SHIPS IMMEDIATELY FIRST CLASS MAIL IN PADDED BUBBLE MAILER WITH TRACKING Every music lover has those moments of transcendance when the song or album that they are listening to just jumps out and strikes them like a bolt of lightening. Some of mine include hearing the Kinks YOU REALLY GOT ME for the first time, watching Rick Danko sing IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE in THE LAST WALTZ, Elvis Costello's MY AIM IS TRUE, the first VIOLENT FEMMES album and a handfull of other moments as well. I can now add listening to this album for the first time to the list. This is real music made by people interested in expressing themselves rather than trying to get fame and fortune. It's honest and timeless. These songs could just have easily been written in 1906 as 2006. What makes it special is the passion, sweat and humor that these guys pour into their performances. I may hear a better album this year, but I doubt it. The music of the Avett Brothers takes old time influences like blugrass, gospel and folk, then injects it with an energy derived from punk rock or AC/DC. They may upset purists by playing this music without finesse and respect that purists always seem to expect, but so be it. All the more fun for the rest of us. From the manic opener TALK OF INDOLENCE through the closing lullabye of FOUR THEIVES GONE, the band display a great lyrical touch on ballads like THE FAMOUS FLOWER OF MANHATTAN and THE LOWERING, as well as creating a fun head of steam on upbeat tunes like THE FALL and COLORSHOW. The lyrics are great, the vocals raw, rough and beautiful, and the playing full of spirit and feeling. There is not a misstep on the whole record. If you are a music lover who's tastes lie outside the boundries of popular music (c. 2006), don't hesitate to investigate FOUR THEIVES GONE at once. This is the real deal.