The Carpenter - The Avett Brothers
The  Carpenter Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

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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. 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.
  3. Nov 21, 2012
    The Carpenter's appeal lies in its gentle tempos and heartstring-tugging melodies. [Dec 2012, p.100]
  4. 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.
  5. Sep 10, 2012
    Too many of the other songs feel starved of that love, though.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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." Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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 Expand
  7. 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. Collapse

See all 11 User Reviews