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Magpie and the Dandelion

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iTunes Review

Think of Magpie and the Dandelion not as a sequel to its predecessor, The Carpenter, but as that album's other half—both records were drawn from the same batch of sessions with legendary producer Rick Rubin. Here, Rubin again makes certain nothing gets in the way of the Avetts' ample, unpretentious musical virtues: an earthy, inviting mix of alt-country and folk-rock and straightforward, introspective songwriting. Whether they're offering a stately, piano-led love letter like "Good to You" or celebrating the joys of a gypsy soul in the gamboling "Open Ended Life," The Avett Brothers deliver a handful of irresistible charmers on Magpie and the Dandelion.

Customer Reviews

Time for a change

Per NPR, this forthcoming set was recorded more or less at the same time as The Carpenter, an album that I felt was bloated, overproduced and, at times, lyrcially insipid ("they say flowers bloom in spring/red and gold, blue and pink"). So, I'm fearing that Rick Rubin will be at the helm yet again and this preview track would seem to confirm that. Like EBatts, I much prefer the Avetts raw and unadorned and so would be pleased to see them jettison Rubin in favor of someone like Jeff Tweedy, whose unfussy and altogether brilliant stewardship of the recent Low and Mavis Staples releases attests to how much a producer can contribute by just staying out of the way.

Eh, it might be alright...

With only a small portion of one song to judge from it's impossible to predict what the rest of this album holds, but based on what is available I would have to say it sounds a bit overdone and polished. My favorite thing about the Avett Brothers is their raw and stripped down sound combined with good songwriting, musicianship, and AMAZING vocal harmonies. I'm all for progress, but when does it stop being progress and become something else? Hopefully the rest of the album has more to offer...

Other Songs

But have you looked up other songs on the album? Listen to "Morning Song" or "Apart from Me" and tell me that they've lost their edge or roots. Tell me those songs are any different from "Pretty Girl at the Airport" or "Murder in the City." It actually seems like this album contains more "traditional" songs that they've been playing for a while and releasing now. I think "The Carpenter" had just enough "new" to hook some "new" fans, and this one is going to bring people to their "older" sound.


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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