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The Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers Introduce Emotionalism – 2007 (Ramseur)

Reviewed by Linda Dailey Paulson

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The Avett Brothers' music might be filed under "Americana" these days, but their work certainly harkens back to the days when "popular music" was a banner for any music that people enjoyed. Much of this is reminiscent of that era in pop at the absolute tail end of the 1960s and start of the 1970s when influences and genres collided masterfully and folk was not a four-letter word.

The trio's sounds, particularly on the first few songs bring to mind the lyric-driven songs of Don McLean and the late John Hartford, (and not just because of the omnipresent banjo). Beautiful harmonies get lifted by tasteful bits of cello.

Pacing on the slower songs is dreadfully similar. "All My Mistakes" all but brings things to a halt with its sleepy harmonies. To place it after the exuberant and idiosyncratic "Pretty Girl from Chile" seems a mistake. Heck, skip straight to "Living of Love." Although slow, the harmonies and lively lyrics seem more heartfelt.

Thankfully, the pace picks up with "Pretty Girl from San Diego." There is plenty here - "Shame," "Paranoia in B-flat Major" and "Go To Sleep" -- to enjoy with the help of the skip button.