I’ve listened to the Avett Brothers for at least a decade now, and I’ve listened thoroughly to all of eleven of their albums dating back to their 2002 album. I’d consider them a part of my family, except they don’t know that they are. I can sing all of the lyrics to all of their songs if you put their music on and take me for a drive. I was so excited for their eleventh album Closer Than Together which came out October 2019 and, I’ve been enjoying it on repeat.
I love how they aren’t completely folk or rock or country, but maybe a little of everything and then some, their lyrics are poetry and their musical talent is effortless.
That being said I’ll be reviewing all 13 tracks off Closer Than Together because how could I not?
Closer Than Together
1. With some great electric guitar playing and an upbeat sound, Bleeding White is a song that made me think of people disagreeing and changing and how that can cause relationships to grow apart and how that’s okay.
Perhaps in another life I would be more like you,
Or you more like me, let’s just disagree,
Don’t say you know my type, I’m one of a kind,
Let’s thank God for merciful variety.
I left you behind,
But you can find me if I don’t wander too far away.
2. Tell The Truth is a softer song, with a tambourine keeping time with a lovely little jingle, and it is about the lies we tell to ourselves and to each other with a hopeful direction to how to make amends.
I wanna make a amends but where do I start?
Tell the truth to yourself and the rest will fall in place.
3. With a laid-back guitar and soft violin which set a gentle tone for some stark truths, We Americans talks bluntly and honestly about the history of America, including the parts that often get left out, glossed over or polished; like genocide, stealing, fighting, wars, and more. It’s beautiful and I’d say that they tell the truth because they do love America despite what I saw a lot of Americans saying about this song.
God will you keep us wherever we go,
Can you forgive us for where we’ve been,
4. Long Story Short is a slow-paced yet bouncy song that sounds exactly like singing a story which is so very poignant and thoughtful with a sobering ending.
Long story short, best I can tell, children can’t be left to raise themselves.
5. One of the most fun songs of theirs that I’ve ever heard is C Sections And Railroad Trestles which captures the complete love and joy that a parent feels with a new baby. The silly and fun rhyming couldn’t be more perfect to represent a deliriously happy parent.
Now you got a onesie but then you get pajamas,
You know you got me and you know ya got your mama.
6. The next song on this album was released as a single and did its job for getting me and my family completely stoked for the new music to come. High Steppin’ has such good lyrics and sound and the music video is really, really good too. In a few words, it’s all about life.
The best beggars are choosers,
The best winners are losers,
The best lovers ain’t never been loved.
And first place ain’t easy,
The hard part is believing.
The very last word is love.
7. When You Learn is so gentle and beautiful, and it made me cry. So there’s that. It’s a song about what it’s like to be loved when it feels so undeserved.
When you learn you can’t earn,
The love you’re waiting for,
Its already yours.
8. Bang Bang is one of my personal favorites on this album, and it’s about gun violence and it really captures so many of my own thoughts and feelings about gun violence in America, as someone who also lives in the country. They made such a good statement with this song. One that’s needed right now.
I live in the country because I love peace and quiet,
But all of my neighbors have closets full of machine guns,
And every Sunday they’re out there pretending to be Rambo,
And I’m in here pretending like Sunday is still sacred.
9. This next one is another favorite, Better Here has some incredible violin and piano playing which had me gushing. It’s about missing and loving someone who isn’t present. And the piano and violin are gorgeous guys.
What can I say if I can’t tell the truth,
The only thing that’ll make it better here,
10. Can I just say that I love all these songs? And if I could, I would tell them thank you for writing them. But especially for New Woman’s World because there are too few men speaking up, let alone apologize, for the pain that the patriarchy has inflicted on women. It was brave, commendable, and so refreshing.
It used to be a man’s world but we didn’t treat it right,
It used to be a man’s world but all we did was fight,
I’m glad it’s finally in the hands of the women and the girls,
I can’t wait to see what they do with what’s left of the world.
11. Who Will I Hold? unlike C Sections And Railroad Trestles, it captures what it’s like to have grown up kids, moving out and leaving. But also about other things in life that change, and leave. The music literally feels nostalgic, sad and bittersweet.
You slipped through my hands like I did through my mama’s,
Like a river that passes the rocks that its on.
12. Next comes Locked Up which is a song that reminds me of what it feels like to feel trapped. In opinions of yourself or others, not wanting to get put in a box, of growing old.
I can’t take the criticism,
I’m eaten up with cynicism,
All the colors in the prism entering my eyes,
Still can’t change my mind.
13. It’s Raining is indeed about rain. But more than that, this gentle piano-filled song, is about taking a pause, a moment, a deep breath, to let yourself have a rainy day.
Its raining today,
What does it mean,
Probably not much of anything,
Still I can’t resist to let my thoughts stray,
What harm will it do?
Its raining today.
I feel like they varied in style as always, keeping every album and in turn every song interesting, unique and easy to play on repeat to fully let the lyrics sink in. Speaking of lyrics, I feel like they made a lot of bold and needed statements. This album is so honest about what the world looks like right now, without discouraging the listener.
In fact, I feel more hopeful when I listen to it. Maybe because they put a spark of hope in each song, and because hearing their voices still singing after a decade means the world isn’t ending.