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The Second Gleam

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The Second Gleam album cover
Tear Down the House
Murder in the City
Bella Donna
The Greatest Sum (Acoustic) (Acoustic)
Black, Blue
St. Joseph's
Souls Like the Wheels
The Greatest Sum (Electric) (Electric)
Album Information

Total Tracks: 8   Total Length: 28:34

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Wondering Sound

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The Avett Brothers, The Second Gleam
2008 | Label: Ramseur Records / The Orchard

It's almost redundant to state that on this release the Avett Brothers return to the slowed, stripped down sound of the first Gleam EP. The acoustic pickings and strumming accompany vocals in a way that highlights the perfection in their vocal imperfections. Avett's voice strains as he laments that “not even the hands of God can hold me back from you,” on “The Greatest Sum.” This audible proof of his efforts makes his pain… read more »

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They Say All Music Guide

With its full-bodied sound and rustic energy, 2007′s Emotionalism helped transform the Avett Brothers into new icons of the progressive folk scene. The album also reached some highly influential ears — most notably those of veteran producer Rick Rubin, who signed the trio to his own American Recordings label in mid-2008. Before jumping to the big leagues, however, the Avett Brothers issued one last recording with Ramseur Records. The Second Gleam is a short and sober affair, dominated by the Avett siblings’ songs about family, childhood, and death. Bassist Bob Crawford is nowhere to be found, which draws a deep line between this sparse, poignant effort and Emotionalism’s sonic swell. But The Second Gleam doesn’t try to be the official follow-up to Emotionalism, nor does it align itself with the ramshackle sound of the band’s earliest work. Clocking in at 21 minutes, the six-song EP takes the Avett Brothers’ most basic elements — banjo, acoustic guitar, melody — and dresses them up with warm, simple production. Had it arrived several years earlier, The Second Gleam would’ve been rife with mistakes and imperfect vocals, the product of a young band whose collective talents had yet to fully ripen. In 2008, however, it serves a nice reminder that the Avett Brothers do, indeed, deserve all the hype. Perhaps this is what Mr. Rick Rubin heard all along. – Andrew Leahey

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