The Carpenter - The Avett Brothers

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 91
    It's a harmonious, cohesive album - like hope and regret all shaken up in a mason jar.
  2. Oct 9, 2012
    Although the Avett Brothers can't seem to decide whether they're introspective folkies or a big rock act, The Carpenter hits the right chords in such a manner that no one will likely care.
  3. Sep 18, 2012
    While a magnum opus would be compelling, The Carpenter's slight inward turn and few great songs may be enough for now.
  4. Nov 21, 2012
    The Carpenter's appeal lies in its gentle tempos and heartstring-tugging melodies. [Dec 2012, p.100]
  5. Nov 13, 2012
    Ultimately it's The Avett Brothers' innate ability to deliver killer tunes and present them in an engaging fashion that connects them to a vintage pedigree of classic Americana artists, from Crosby, Stills & Nash and Neil Young onwards, that seduces you from track one.
  6. If the band can let go of their younger selves completely, that masterpiece will be theirs.
  7. Nov 7, 2012
    While the album does weigh heavily on its dark themes--possibly too much so at times--The Avett Brothers have never sounded better than they do on The Carpenter.
  8. Sep 12, 2012
    Overall this is a meditative collection that eloquently expresses a great deal of uncomfortable feelings few other songwriters are capable of addressing.
  9. Sep 11, 2012
    It's this penchant for playing with contrast--between light and dark, comedy and tragedy, hard and soft, fast and slow--and their ease with switching gears between the romps and soliloquies that shines on The Carpenter, perhaps stronger than on any of their previous releases.
  10. What we're left with is an album that sounds like something of an identity crisis. It's far from a total loss and there is much here that is definitely worth revisiting in that old reliable Avett Brothers sort of way.
  11. Sep 12, 2012
    The Carpenter is strong from top to bottom.
  12. Sep 11, 2012
    They've become Auto-Tune-less pop stars, and The Carpenter will only brighten their shine.
  13. Sep 11, 2012
    Good storytelling, the brothers' distinctive vocal lobs and a pleasant combo of banjo, bass, strings and both acoustic and electric guitar [are still present]. But with so many of the rough edges buffed away, there aren't as many nooks and crannies in which listeners can embed themselves, making it more difficult to become emotionally attached to The Carpenter.
  14. Sep 10, 2012
    The Avett Brothers aren't rewriting the book, they're just translating it for a new generation.
  15. 70
    There's no shortage of catchy, bopping crowd pleasers on The Carpenter, and the Avetts churn them out with gusto and pride.
  16. Sep 10, 2012
    Too many of the other songs feel starved of that love, though.
  17. Nov 30, 2012
    The brothers [are] as painfully earnest as ever. [Oct/Nov 2012, p.128]
  18. Nov 21, 2012
    The result is a trifle confusing. [Dec 2012, p.85]
  19. Nov 9, 2012
    The Carpenter isn't a total dud, because the Avetts are so skilled with a melody, but the plain-speaking has turned to clunkiness.
  20. The Avetts are clearly happiest when they're miserable. Which is fine, if you're in that kind of mood.
  21. 60
    The Carpenter, like many pieces of art, is a record that becomes more relatable with age and, most frighteningly, loss. For those of us that have been lucky thus far, we'll have to wait and see.
  22. Sep 13, 2012
    The North Carolina natives mix the boisterousness with the balladry well, while delivering image-evoking lyrics in between.
  23. Oct 26, 2012
    Pleasant but faintly drippy folk-pop. [Dec 2012, p.65]
  24. 40
    Save for the opening "The Once and Future Carpenter", about a woodworker who abandons his trade to wander, this second album is pretty dismal fare.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Sep 12, 2012
    Two listens and I am absolutely hooked. There are some instant classics on this album, including "The Once and Future Carpenter" and "Winter In My Heart," which will remind you of a Don McLean classic. This is simple music with beautiful hooks, lovely turns of phrase and well-tuned harmony. Full Review »
  2. Sep 26, 2012
    My favorite are the 1st two songs and then the rest are pretty mellow and chill but they sound very similar. Its a very nice album that is definitely for one of those days when you need to relax Full Review »
  3. Sep 20, 2012
    I feel like I'm alone here, but after five or six listens I still can't get into it. There are a few solid songs, but even those pale in comparison to the originality and energy of their previous songs/albums. They play this one too safe for my tastes. Full Review »