Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Avett Brothers: I and Love and You [American, 2009]
These formerly acoustic Carolinians say they won a fan base by cutting their chests open. They go on to report that then they cut their hair--and bought a ticket to the big time, where with production from Rick Rubin they put all the above figures of speech into a song too catchy for their fan base, one of a solid half dozen on this typically thought through, atypically slammed home tribute to "I" and "love" and definitely "you." Sure there are drums. But mostly it's the tunes that do the slamming. And though their lyrics may be too sincere for sophisticates, they're not sincere enough to suit the Avetts, a disconnect they'll tell you about. A-