The last time we saw the Avett Brothers was on the full length “Magpie and the Dandelion”. With the new year comes a new album and a slightly tweaked sound for the folk band from North Carolina. Fans of “I And Love And You” and “The Carpenter” may be hesitant to some of the tracks heard on “True Sadness” however these small tweaks are a welcomed change to a formula that’s been used for awhile.
Tracks like the opener, “Ain’t No Man”, open with a great bass line and a wonderful hook. While it takes a few minutes for us to hear a guitar, I think few will mind. The next few tracks are typical Avett Brothers with folky banjo rolls and crooning harmonica accompaniments. “You Are Mine” sees the introduction of a synthesizer, which at first may scare some listeners off. However, the rest of the song shows the synthesizer to be a great addition to the drum machine beats and the electric piano.
The rest of the album is oozing with bluesy southern rock, with the last track, “May It Last” diving into spaghetti-western waters. A orchestra string choir opens the song in traditional western fashion. The middle of the song lurches in a weird way often reminding me a little bit of “Take A Bow” by Muse before jumping right back into the Avett Brothers sound we have come to expect. The transition happens somewhat seamlessly, which is a pleasant break from the rest of the album.
Final Thoughts: If you love the Avett Brothers, download it. While it doesn’t merit buying the CD directly, it’s a nice listen.