(Editor’s note: I moved from an apartment into a house starting January 1st, 2020, and I had to toss all my CDs into a big garbage bag during the move. The idea for this feature is I write a review about each CD as I unpack that bag, one CD at a time, and rank them.)
The eighth CD out of the bag
1. Die Die Die; 2. Shame; 3. Paranoia in B Major; 4. The Weight of Lies; 5. Will You Return; 6. The Ballad Of Love And Hate; 7. Salina; 8. Pretty Girl From Chile; 9. All My Mistakes; 10. Living Of Love; 11. I Would Be Sad; 12. Pretty Girl From San Diego; 13. Go To Sleep; 14. Hand-Me-Down Tune.
The Avett Brothers’ Emotionalism is an acoustic, banjo-infused exploration of the heart. Released in 2007, Emotionalism is the rare album that dares to examine love and hate, pain and regret, and the conflicting emotions in relationships with a blend of raw spontaneity and soul-baring introspection. Mix in the gorgeous harmonies and a charming naiveté, you have one of the best folk-country albums on the planet. The first verse of the album hooked me: “She’s fighting with the sky/She thinks she can/Livin’ within a lie/She thinks she can.” Emotionalism is steeped in meaningful, thought-provoking lyrics that are sincere and relatable. Highlights include the girl who’s never satisfied in “Die Die Die”; the man begging for a second chance in “Shame; the man running from past mistakes in “The Weight of Lies”; the tender and enchanting allegory of “The Ballad of Love and Hate”; the unrequited love of “I Would Be Sad”; and the breezy island flavor of “Pretty Girl from San Diego,” a bouncy rhythm in contrast to the narrator’s conflicted feelings for a woman.
My favorite song
My favorite song is “Will You Return,” a banjo-blasted whirlwind of spirited harmonies and urgency. The narrator describes three encounters with a girl, each ending in goodbye but with the hope of seeing her again. He resists her advances, perhaps because her unresolved issues would make a relationship too difficult. Maybe she needs to love herself first. Don’t we all?
My favorite lines of my favorite song
“I wish you’d see yourself as beautiful as I see you.
Why can’t you see yourself as beautiful as I see you?”
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥