The Avett Brothers Dynasty

Posted by on Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just to be predictable, I'm going to take Jeff's challenge by starting with The Avett Brother's last three albums. In my humble opinion, they constitute his definition of a dynasty. Without a doubt. I would even say all their albums contribute to their dynasty. I have yet to hear an album of theirs that wasn't amazing. And with each listen of each album, my love for it grows. But, I'm just going to talk about their most recent three because those are the most popular in the world. ...this time...

Emotionalism came out in 2007. This album was my first exposure to The Avett Brothers and it still holds at least one of my favorite songs. The first few songs are all amazing. But, while the album isn't necessarily my favorite of theirs, it was the perfect transition album for them. In albums previous to this,  their sound was a lot more bluegrass-ey. And I use that term lightly. Basically, their older albums had a lot of banjo. We still hear a lot of that in Emotionalism but you can also hear and maybe even feel that they really reached a limit with that sound. They had peaked. Since Emotionalism, their sound has developed into something that I'm not quite sure how to define but it's still their own and still beautiful.
That being said, this album seemed to really set the tone for a new genre. Since 2007 countless bands (ie: Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, The Head and the Heart, etc.) have adapted this rock/bluegrass/folk sound similar to and possibly unknowingly started by The Avett Brothers. This was also the first of their albums to hit the Billboard charts and from there they sky rocketed in popularity.

With all the other bands adapting a similar sound, their next album, I and Love and You took a major shift in sound. A little less banjo, a little more piano. In addition to rise in popularity, this change may also be attributed to signing with a major label.
Despite their changes, this album will always hold a very special place in my heart (more so than their other albums). It got me through a couple of really rough years. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I've cried to this album more than any other. It's a really powerful album. Their lyrics get even more personal and touch topics not really heard in their earlier work. With I and Love and You, The Avett Brothers really start to take their music to the next level.

The change in sound is even more apparent in their next album, The Carpenter. Along with this seemed to come even more popularity. They were even featured in a Gap commercial. At first, I was a little leery of this continued change but, after more listening and even more contemplation, I decided it was a completely necessary change. I don't think The Avett Brothers couldn't have gone much further with their older sound especially with all the bands who were (and still are) adapting something similar. Like I said, in Emotionalism, their raw, bluegrass rock sound had really peaked. While they still keep their own sound, they are continuing to grow and change in positive ways that are allowing for more exploration as seen in this album especially.
I haven't had as much time with this album as their others so it's still sinking in but I love it more with each listen. Pretty Girl From Michigan might be my favorite Avett Brothers song of all time. (Keyword: might). They really rock the electric guitar. I'm excited to let it grown on me even more and I'm even more excited to see what's coming next.

The Avett Brothers have created an incredible dynasty. They have created their own distinct sound that has risen and influenced music for the better. There are many reasons I love the Avett Brothers but the number one reason I love them is because their love of music and life shines through in their work. They put their soul into their songs and it makes them relatable. They don't create music for money or fame, they create for love. They don't change for money. They will always be The Avett Brothers. They will always be a couple of boys from North Carolina that grew up on music.

Posted by: tori lynn dickson

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