The Avett Brothers’ eighth studio LP, Magpie and the Dandelion, is a product of the same sessions that brought 2012’s The Carpenter.
The Avett Brothers have been pleasing listeners for more than a decade ever since hitting the folk/alternative scene in 2000. In that time, the group has released a staggering 15 albums.
Many criticize the band’s involvement with producer Rick Rubin and say the collaboration has led the brothers to stray from their original sound. In the ever-changing world of music, however, the more polished sound has helped the band find a broader range of followers.
“Another Is Waiting” was first heard on the airwaves of NPR in August after the band announced its Magpie release date. It is currently the most successful song of the album. This song also has the most pop influence; the only downside is that it is relatively short, clocking in at just more than two minutes.
The songs “Open Ended Life” and “Skin and Bones” present the most rock-influenced tracks on the album. Even though the album as a whole is overly romanticized, these two songs have the least nuance to them. They are walls of sound as each instrument fights to be heard.
Track 10, “Vanity,” is one of the strangest and most beautiful songs on the album. The lyrics are very simple: “I’ve got something to say / But it’s all vanity, it’s all vanity.” The song is about ambition and self-doubt, and Rubin’s direction truly shows on this track. It is underscored for the majority by piano and electric guitar with a driving beat.
Magpie and the Dandelion is available on iTunes in two forms: One album has 11 songs, the other adds four demo tracks to the album: “Vanity,” “Every Morning Song,” “Another Is Waiting” and “Bring Your Love.” The album is currently ranked No. 2 on the iTunes top albums list.