Album Review: The Avett Brothers - Magpie and the Dandelion

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Magpie and the Dandelion • The Avett Brothers • Score: 8 out 10 • Republic Records • Producer: Rick Rubin

In the wake of The Carpenter, this beloved North Carolina-based band presents a durable follow-up with few surprises. Commencing with the “Open Ended Life,” a bluesy groove gives way to a double-time banjo/fiddle rave-up combining rock and country counterparts. A solitary live track, “Souls Like the Wheels” (reworked from an earlier EP) may seem a puzzling step backwards, but it serves to interject a rustic contrast to the studio gleam. On the closing track, “The Clearness is Gone,” the band crystallizes what they do best: plaintive harmonies, ringing electric guitars, sanctified organ and rich twin fiddles orchestrating a noble Dixie crossroads of heart and heritage. – Dan Kimpel

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