The Carpenter

The Avett Brothers - The Carpenter
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2012 Ratings: #574 / 1072
User Score
Based on 20 ratings
Liked by 1 person
September 11, 2012 / Release Date
LP / Format
Universal Republic / Label
Folk / Genres
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A.V. Club

While a magnum opus would be compelling, The Carpenter’s slight inward turn and few great songs may be enough for now. 


The Carpenter provides a return to rudimentary Avett songwriting, in that the most striking moments on the record are born from playful banjo-guitar banter and confessions revealed in 4/4 time. 


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.


Many of the band’s best moments have been quieter ones, and The Carpenter finds a nice balance between introspective and raucous.


Rubin may be a wizard in the studio, but his involvement has fostered a truly remarkable level of bloat in this once bare-boned, focused band.

Consequence of Sound

Maybe their newfound familiarity with the black cloak has pushed them to a more relaxed, straightforward sort of songwriting.


The Avetts are clearly happiest when they’re miserable. Which is fine, if you’re in that kind of mood. 

I had convinced myself early on I probably wasn't going to enjoy a whole lot of The Avett Brothers music. If I wasn't going to enjoy Emotionalism or I and Love and You it seemed unlikely that I would find an album that really spoke much to me. The Carpenter isn't a massive game changer, but it may be the closest I'll come to enjoying one of the groups records.

Most of this comes down to a small factor, and it's simply consistency. The Avett Brothers spend most of this album keeping a steady ... read more
My slightly controversial Avett Brothers opinion: “The Carpenter” is better than “I and Love and You.” The latter album, while still pretty and well-written, swung too far in the opposite direction of their former rambunctious Americana. In my estimation, “The Carpenter” is the best post-Rick Rubin Avett Brothers album, successfully fusing a smoother, streamlined sound with their earlier spirit. With the probable exception of “Winter in My Heart,” ... read more
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Track List

  1. The Once and Future Carpenter 
  2. Live and Die 
  3. Winter in My Heart 
  4. Pretty Girl From Michigan 
  5. I Never Knew You 
  6. February Seven 
  7. Through My Prayers 
  8. Down With the Shine 
  9. A Fathers First Spring 
  10. Geraldine 
  11. Paul Newman vs. The Demons 
  12. Life
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Added on: September 1, 2012