I have been wanting to review this album since I joined the Shield. Unfortunately, due to five other commitments, I was never able to find the time. But now, since Spring Break has provided a respite, I can proudly introduce to you The Avett Brothers’ I And Love And You.
The Avett Brothers are a bluegrass/blues/folk band who started as a garage band out of Mount Pleasant, North Carolina. (Thanks, Nazarian.) The two actual Avett Brothers are Seth (guitar/vocals) and Scott (banjo/vocals), partnered with the musical talent of Bob Crawford (bass) and Joe Kwon (cello). These four have released fourteen albums, most recently in June 2016. Their most successful album, however, was released in 2009 – and, without further ado, here is I and Love And You.
“I And Love And You”
This first song is unquestionably the most emotional song on the album. Backed by a piano accompanied by violin and cello, Seth Avett sings of abandoning the life he had to escape and start anew. This also includes leaving behind the one he once loved due to growing apart from her. He leaves her a note telling her about all the good things she’s done for him, and the person he’s become because of her. This song can be taken in many different ways, depending on the way you feel when you listen to it.
“Three words that became hard to say. I and Love and You.”
This song steers the album back towards the folk roots of the Avett Brothers. A lighthearted and banjo-heavy song about falling in love and enjoying everything about the person you plan to marry. Another Seth-sung song (say that three times fast) that is beautiful in the way it portrays love and the joy it can bring.
“She knows which birds are singing and the names if the trees where they’re performing, so in January we’re getting married.”
“Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise”
Another one of the Avett Brothers’ best-known songs. “Head Full of Doubt” discusses conquering your own demons as well as the demons put upon you by others. Seth sings about finding the light when surrounded by the never-ending darkness, a message of hope for those who may not think to find such light. This song bounces from being upbeat back to the soul-searching tune it originated with. Definitely a song I would recommend when looking out the window on a rainy day.
“There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light. And I’m frightened by those that don’t see it.”
“And It Spread”
Another love song sung by Seth, a bit more edgy than the others. Seth sings about the light of his life leaving and allowing the “frost” of his sadness to spread throughout everything he is and does. In a Twenty One Pilots-style bridge, Seth sings in a half-scream, half-singing tone about this difficult time, only to realize that his love has returned and allowed light in his world once again. Not my favorite song, but definitely a good message.
“There was a light in the room. Then you left and it was through.”
“The Perfect Space”
Another one of my all-time favorite Avett songs. This slightly depressing tune sings about wanting friends who appreciate him for who he is now, rather than the person he once was, feeling alone when no one comes to his side, and trying to cope with feeling like an outcast. But, in a turn of emotions, the song suddenly picks up into an upbeat tune with the angry feeling of wanting to push away those negative people. before returning to the sad and troubled mindset of just wanting people to accept him for who he is now.
“I wanna fit into the perfect space. Feel natural and safe in a volatile place.”
“Ten Thousand Words”
This song has become more relevant in today’s society than it was when this album was released. “Ten Thousand Words,” in summary, talks about “fake news.” What a listener could assume when listening to this is that the “ten thousand words” being referred to are those of people who only spread gossip. I’m sure anybody who will read this has been in a situation where rumors about you have been spread like wildfire, and can agree that it is the worst feeling in the world. Well, dear reader, then this song is for you.
“A’int it like most people I’m no different, we love to talk on things we don’t know about.”
“Kick Drum Heart”
I compare the percussion in this song to the clapping part in the “Friends” theme song. It’s a weird arrangement, considering that the slower song “Ten Thousand Words” came right before, but hey, I don’t judge; I just review. I’m not really sure what to make of this song; I compare it to any pop song ever made. Catchy and rhythmic, but overall not much message behind it. I’ll leave it up you to decide what it’s saying.
“My heart like a kick drum, my love like a voice.”
Another personal favorite of mine. It reminds me of the harmony that Simon and Garfunkel would use in their songs, a beautiful balance between the low notes of the guitar and the high vocals of Scott and Seth Avett. There’s not much more to say about it but I highly recommend giving it a listen if you decide to check out this album.
“Break this tired old routine, and this time don’t make me leave.”
“Ill With Want”
It just wouldn’t be an Avett Brothers album if it didn’t include one of the seven deadly sins. Greed is hard to combat, considering it’s sometimes our natural instinct towards materialistic things, or even people. “Ill With Want” talks about knowing the person you used to be and yet not being able to escape the temptations of wanting more. As most of the Avett Brothers’ songs go, it is a story of sending your life into chaos and disarray when you allow life’s temptations to overcome you.
“Acting like someone I don’t wanna be. Ill with want and poisoned by this ugly greed.”
A hard thing that comes with growing older and especially being an adult is that you begin to grow numb to the things that used to mean so much. Sometimes life falls into a routine and all things seem so nonchalant to you. A tin man is sometimes what you may feel like when you simply just don’t feel at all. Don’t worry though, there’s always something else waiting to surprise you.
“I miss that feeling of feeling.”
“Slight Figure Of Speech”
Finally! An upbeat Avett Brothers song. It’s so surprising that this song doesn’t even make much sense. It’s two minutes of pure adrenaline really, but well needed for an album like this.
“A slight figure of speech. I cut my chest wide open.”
“It Goes On and On”
Could it be true? Two upbeat songs? Anyway, this is the kind of two-minute love song the Avetts commonly put on their albums. The chorus really does go on and on and on and on and on though.
“It goes on and on and on on on it goes on and on.”
“Incomplete and Insecure”
Back in blue to finish off the album. This song goes out with a bang of angst and personal conflict; a true bookend to an amazing album singing about feeling envy towards others and wanting to feel as whole as they do. Another gem I recommend listening to closely.
The Avett Brothers have been an inspiration to many and continue to create amazing music. I actually will be seeing them in concert for the second time in September, and if this article did its job right, I hope to see you there too. Until next time, arrivederci!