Album: The Avett Brothers, The Carpenter (Island/Def Jam)

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The Independent Culture

Having moved on from the Mumford-esque knees-ups of their early work, North Carolina's Avett Brothers find themselves caught between the polish and the urge to shake loose.

As great as any record produced by Rick Rubin is going to sound, only the serious songs work here, and the poppier numbers sound forced and there for the sake of nostalgia. If the band can let go of their younger selves completely, that masterpiece will be theirs.