The Carpenter - The Avett Brothers
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21

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  1. Sep 8, 2013
    The Avett Brothers have proven their musical diversity in their album "The Carpenter" by moving from bluegrass/ country to an interesting folk-rock. The album overall is extremely fun, easy to listen to, and has helped propel The Avett Brothers as one of my new favorite artists.
  2. Oct 3, 2012
    Their sound is polished, but that's not necessarily a good thing. I suppose I should have expected the album to have this pop-rock sound after I and Love and You, an album I ignored after the first listen other than about four of its tracks. The songs on The Carpenter feel safe and sterile; there's no raw energy, passion, or honest emotion that I loved about the Avetts in the past. The first two tracks are by far the best, but even Live and Die would be a weak effort on, say, Emotionalism. The rest are mostly sad, slow, and nostalgic, with lots of trite metaphors about seasons. Expand
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. Sep 14, 2012
    Over the last couple of years, the Avett Brothers have expanded their fan base substantially. For those of us a fan of their earlier efforts, this album is too polished, poppy, and radio-friendly. In fact, I think it is a decent album, but has none of the characteristics that made me a huge Avett Brothers fan in the first place. Change and growth is great, but in this case I think they should not have chosen Rick Rubin to produce them. He should stick to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Linkin Park and not ruin great bands like the Avett Brothers. Expand
  6. Sep 14, 2012
    My wife and I LOVE the Avett Brothers and after first listen to "The Carpenter" through NPR, I thought to myself, "What is this?". After expressing how disappointed I was with this album as a whole, my wife didn't believe me and said she wanted to hear the album for herself. I got back on NPR and streamed the album for her to hear and after sitting there with her and listening to the songs a second time around I thought, "What in the hell was wrong with me earlier". This album is excellent and compliments their entire catalog well. Unlike other reviewers, I don't really have any issue with any of the songs on this album, and that includes Paul Newman vs The Demons. I love the fact that I can select the Avett Brothers on my MP3 player and choose "play all" songs and not have to worry about skipping anything. THESE GUYS ARE GOOD! Expand
  7. Sep 13, 2012
    The much anticipated new album from The Avett Brothers is finally here, and it was worth the wait. "The Carpenter" is a combination of all of that is great about this band. Teaming up once again with Rick Rubin, this album proves that The Avett Brothers are here to stay. The title track "The Once and Future Carpenter" plays like a life story, with poetic lyrics and a toe-tapping bluegrass beat. Their first release, "Live and Die", pulls you in with the banjo and then makes you want to get up and swing your sweetheart around the room.

    The smoky ballad "Winter in my Heart" slows the pace a bit, but not the momentum of the beautiful lyrics and sweet vocals. There is such honesty in these songs that my heart aches a bit with each verse. "They say seasons turn in time. Their's are changing; why won't mine."

    "Pretty Girl from Michigan" begins with the piano and then breaks into a bluegrass/rock anthem reminiscent of the late 50's and sock hops without being hokey and derivative. "I Never Knew You" reminds me of The Beautiful South with the harmonies and slightly biting lyrics. It definitely put a smile on my face.

    "Life" reminds us of the impermanence of life. The floating melodies are played with such grace on the guitar and backed by the violin. This song is best appreciated by closing your eyes, putting on your headphones and leaning your head back and giving in to it. "Through My Prayers" brings to mind a lost love that was hard to give up. Regret and heartache make this one such a poignant song.

    One song that brings a new sound to the group is "Paul Newman vs. The Demons". Less acoustic than most of their other songs with a more prominent drum beat and some latin electric guitar sounds, this song demonstrates the versatility of the band. They are not just a one trick pony.

    As with their previous album, this one is going to be a favorite of mine. I highly recommend that you check it out along with the rest of their albums. You can download it now at iTunes at this link:

    Thanks for stopping by and getting buzzed! Come back often.
  8. Sep 13, 2012
    It is great as I have listened to the Avetts since they started years ago. I do miss the banjo but they have become master songwriters. The best are old songs that have been around forever like Once and Future Carpenter,Down With the Shine,Pretty Girl From Michigan(Telling Time). Imo the best song they have ever written is Die Then Grow which it too has been around forever. It surprisingly is a "bonus track" only available at Target. Good thing I got that one. You can tell the brothers got married and had kids in the lyrics they wrote. Paul Newman is my one complaint. It never really works throughout the song and does not fit on this album imo. February 7 and Life are great tunes. Expand
  9. Sep 12, 2012
    although this album was only to be able to be found at a star bucks in anchorage alaska, it is still a must have for anyone that is a fan. It is filled with great songs and sounds exactly like the Avett Brothers. No change in their way of playing at all.
  10. 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.
  11. Sep 11, 2012
    Overall this is an excellent album. Perhaps the only weak spot is Paul Newman. It starts off wonderfully with the simple and pleasing "Once and Future Carpenter."

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Nov 30, 2012
    The brothers [are] as painfully earnest as ever. [Oct/Nov 2012, p.128]
  2. Nov 21, 2012
    The result is a trifle confusing. [Dec 2012, p.85]
  3. Nov 21, 2012
    The Carpenter's appeal lies in its gentle tempos and heartstring-tugging melodies. [Dec 2012, p.100]