The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
Rick Rubin is a dab hand at production, but he’s got an even greater knack for choosing real quality acts when it comes to his label American Recordings. I and Love and You is The Avett Brothers' sixth album, and it’s a heart-bearing, emotional ride that takes in country, folk and pop amongst others things.
Much has been made of the brothers' emotional intensity, in particular with regard to their lyrics. When they sing ‘my hands they shake, my head it spins’, alongside the dramatic piano lines and strings on the title track, you really get a sense that there’s no bullshit here. This is quite simply an outpouring of feelings that the listener can’t help but be drawn into. The same feeling is carried on into tracks like the resignation filled ‘The Perfect Space’ and closing track ‘Incomplete and Insecure’. But the album isn’t all doom and gloom. The mood picks up on the banjo-driven ‘January Wedding’ and the upbeat, percussion filled ‘Kick Drum Heart’, with the vocals occasionally verging into screaming.
The punk-esque atmosphere really comes alive in ‘Slight Figure of Speech’ with its fast-paced acoustic riffery, but the true highlight comes in the form of ‘Ten Thousand Words’. The brothers American country-music croon sets into the finger-picked guitar and splashes of piano in such a way that just makes sense, Rubin’s flawless production only highlighting all the wonderful elements.
How The Avett Brothers haven’t cattle-prodded their way into the public conscience any sooner than now,despite the fact they have had five previous albums out, is anyone's guess. Hopefully I and Love and You will give them the exposure that they so obviously deserve.