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Magpie and the Dandelion

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Album Review

Recorded at the same sessions that produced 2012's The Carpenter, 2013's Magpie and the Dandelion doesn't play like leftovers, which is to the credit of both the Avett Brothers and their producer Rick Rubin. Magpie and the Dandelion consciously evokes past Americana, stretching back beyond the Band but anchored there, often incorporating a harder-rocking edge reminiscent of former Rubin patrons Black Crowes. The key to appreciating the Avett Brothers is to realize they see themselves as heirs to this tradition, happy to accentuate their rustic roots with banjos and weary harmonies because they suggest authenticity. Where their real strength lies is not in instrumental virtuosity or song (although many of the tunes here are sturdy enough) but rather in feel: they capture an indistinct past where guitars are an enduring virtue. Perhaps the Avetts are best when they run a little bit loose and ragged, letting the tempos push a little bit hard, allowing their harmonies to clash and happy to have their loose ends remain untied. Often, this means that the ballads are just a shade too tidy — they're mannered in a way almost none of the rest of the record is — but still Magpie and the Dandelion underscores how the appeal of the Avett Brothers remains in their indebtedness to the past without being bogged down by its legacy.

Customer Reviews

Can't wait

The Avett Brothers are by far my favorite band and every album never disappoints. I am counting down the days until this is fully released. If you have not listened to/ fallen in love with the Avett Brothers you have not lived. I know Magpie and the Dandelion will amaze. Another is Waiting is a great preview.

Super dope album

It's so great, I love all of it. It seems more rock-y than anything else they've done, which is great. Also, the harmonica in Open Ended Life is basically the best thing ever.

What Happened?

So sad for what was once my favorite band. This album (like the last) leans in the pop side and the positive messages are just too much. I miss "when I drink" and "murder in the city". It's just too clean and AOR. Two stars solely for the great musicality but please bring back the grit that made the band once so real.


Formed: 2000 in Concord, NC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Avett Brothers' music has roots in traditional folk and bluegrass, but also captures the high spirits and no-boundaries attitude of rock & roll -- which is appropriate, since rock is where Scott Avett and Seth Avett first cut their teeth as musicians. Although siblings Scott (vocals, banjo) and Seth (vocals, guitar) began making music together as children, their group's genesis began when they were members of Nemo, a rock band that gigged regularly in Greenville, North Carolina. Looking for another...
Full Bio
Magpie and the Dandelion, The Avett Brothers
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Customer Ratings


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