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Magpie And The Dandelion

4.4 out of 5 stars 179 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2013 release, the eighth studio album from the Alt-Folk rockers. The album was produced by Rick Rubin who produced their previous two full-length studio albums, I and Love and You and The Carpenter. The album was recorded during the same recording sessions as The Carpenter and in an open letter to fans published in August band says the album conveys a feeling on "youthful wonder"
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Digital Booklet: Magpie And The Dandelion
Digital Booklet: Magpie And The Dandelion
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 15, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: American Recordings
  • ASIN: B00EMLKW8S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,622 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
My introduction to The Avett Brothers occurred after the release of Emotionalism but before I & Love & You, with songs from Emotionalism, Four Thieves Gone, Mignonette, and A Carolina Jubilee all becoming regulars in my music rotation. The Avett Brothers have became one of my favorite bands, and I reached back all the way to their debut EP and loved it all. But it took me a really long time to warm up to I&L&Y, though I eventually did warm up to it. The Carpenter, upon its release, sat as one of my favorites.

And now, we have Magpie and the Dandelion. In my opinion, more than any of the band's other releases with Rick Rubin at producer, Magpie is the best of old Avett and new Avett. It opens with a barnstorming tune complete with banjo, harmonica, and fiddle - a tune you can't help but stomp your foot to. (Note: there are 4 songs with banjo here, compared to Carpenter's 2.) From there the album provides a satisfying combination of slower ballads, stripped down acoustics, and upbeat, soulful songs. New Avett songs have always taken time to grow on me, even when first introduced to their older work. Their lyrics are consistently intelligent and though-provoking - their albums can be crushing and yet life-affirming at the same time. Often, it takes me several listens to fully appreciate their lyrical work. That is certainly the case here, where some songs just more readily jump out at you than others.

From foot-stomping banjo tunes, to bluesy guitar riffs, distorted minor-chord breakdowns, to slow acoustic/piano ballads, the Avetts show how versatile of a band they are; these are no one-trick ponies and every one of the songs on Magpie keeps me interested in listening. I completely disagree with complaints that these songs sound the same or bleed into one another.
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Like a lot of Avett fans, I heard my first song when "The Gleam" sparked some attention but I really didn't fall in love with the band until "I and Love and You" drew me in. At that point I went back and picked up all of their prior releases and made this band a part of my life. I've seen them live a few times and that is a yet unmatched experience.
I actually listed to the NPR stream on this album a few times prior to purchasing it. I finally got to hear it in my car cranked up this morning on my way to work. I already like this release better than the last album. My best description at this point has to be that it reminds me a lot of the older Avetts but it's obviously been Rick Rubin'd. Really clean, crisp vocals and music. The addition of never before heard instruments in their recordings is treat. They even let Bob sing a verse on "Good To You". I think that true Avett fans will love it and the hipsters will find a reason to complain about it. (as usual)
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First, the Avett Brothers are by far my favorite band ever. Which is a huge statement for a musician and a music freak like myself. And, as other have said over and over again...seeing them live is amazing. Their charisma is unmatched.

Second, I hear criticism of them selling out by having Rick Rubin produce the album because it's over produced. I can appreciate that view point. It's definitely not as raw as other TAB albums. Plus there are instrucments in there that just aren't part of their band. Which leaves you feeling kinda like..."this isn't the Avett Brothers". That being said, its not grossly over done. It still has some good organic quality to it.

Lastly, for the CD itself. It is definitely my least favorite (I own them all). There are definitely some good songs on there though. I love open ended life, Another is Waiting, and Morning Song. But, there are also some..."filler" songs as well. Songs that just don't pull you in at all. For example, The Clearness is Gone. This song seemed like they were TRYING not to rhyme. Also, as another reviewer pointed out...when you listen to Good to You...tell me you don't hear Norweigan wood right away....

All in all I like the album. I just don't LOVE the album like I LOVE the Avett Brotheres. If you are a big fan, get the album. If you are new to them, don't start with this one. Start with Emotionalism, Mignonette, or I and Love and You.
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The latest from the Avett Brothers, whom I just discovered last week via a re-run of "Austin City Limits," where I fell in love with their "Morning Song," which appears on this album. After listening to the whole album several times, I think the opener "Open-Ended Life" is very good, I think the second song, "Morning Song," is great... after that, the rest of the songs seem primarily like re-treads from Lennon and McCartney solo albums, and from Simon and Garfunkel. I personally enjoy listening to Lennon, McCartney, and Simon & Garfunkel albums, so I wasn't disgruntled or anything, but still... Re-treads, when the sources are so obvious, are annoying. One song that particularly got on my nerves was "Good to You": It included an outright lick from "Norwegian Wood," plus dumb, simplistic lyrics like "I wanna be close to you/I wanna be there for you." (If you're gonna use the lick from "Norwegian Wood," at least step up when it comes to lyrics.) I also especially disliked "Vanity," a boring song jacked up by producer Rick Rubin. Oh, and "Never Been Alive," with its embarrassing, insipid "whoa, whoa, whoa"'s. I bought the used CD, and I'll keep it, but I wouldn't particularly recommend it to anyone else.
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