The Avett Brothers
I and Love and You
North Carolina’s The Avett Brothers have always had a few too many ideas for their own good. The band’s 6th studio album, I and Love and You, fits into the lose framework of Americana, but within those confines the brothers Avett are all over the place. The most successful tunes find a mood and a style and stick with it, embracing the ebb and flow those restrictions allow. The worst offenders come off as musical polygamy, wedded to too many good ideas.
It’s the album’s midsection that poses the biggest problems. “The Perfect Space” wants to be a touching testament to true friendship, but just past the halfway point the piano shifts drastically from heart-felt to honky-tonk and the sweeping balladry drops out in favor of high energy shouts. Neither section is bad or wrong, but the way they interact is like oil and water. There’s also “Laundry Room,” a soulful diddy that breaks into a hoedown at the four-minute mark for reasons I don’t think even the Avetts could explain.