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True Sadness
American Recordings
Universal Music

3.5 Stars

Seth and Scott Avett started creating their loose brand of folk rock with Bob Crawford as a trio nine albums ago. Over the journey their sound has slowly evolved and their popularity has continued to grow. Now being considered one of the premier Americana bands going around, they have swelled to a seven piece for their latest recording with Rick Rubin.

The Avett Brothers have always served a healthy dose of melancholia, but since their last album, the members of the band have had to deal with a divorce and a brain tumour of Crawford’s two year old daughter. In spite of this new album being titled True Sadness, there is some glimmers of hope in the new set of tunes.

Ain’t No Man is clearly aimed at radio with its bass driven sound and ‘boom clap’ percussion. Luckily it is an outlier in terms of sound and with album closer May It Last are the main culprits when The Avett’s are too dense and overblown. When they are at their most sparse and rustic is when The Avett Brothers truly shine. Divorce Separation Blues and No Hard Feelings find them at their harmonic best.

True Sadness continues the ever increasing crispness of The Avett Brothers sound. It may not be their greatest work, but it does get better with each listen. True Sadness is still solid enough to keep The Avett Brothers towards the top of the pile.


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