To say that they’ve changed their approach is probably a fair statement, but it’s hardly a surprise. With I And Love And You, the band and producer Rick Rubin found success showcasing these guys as genuine songwriters. And while that may be the case, they’re far from subdued. These songs take flight, and tunes like “Geraldine” and “Paul Newman vs. The Demons” are reminiscent of early Avetts and still hold the potential to be barn-burners in front of a live audience. Yet what we saw on I And Love And You and even more so on The Carpenter is that there is a lot of charm to these songs. They can be bouncy and fun on a song like “I Never Knew You” and reflective and thoughtful on songs like “Through My Prayers” and “Winter in My Heart.” No matter the song, this band has such a dynamic personality infused in what they do – it just naturally shines through.
The core to what The Avett Brothers have always done is write compelling songs; they accentuate that on The Carpenter. This is still the same band, just a bit more focused and really honing in on their strengths.