#80 – Murder in the City

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Artist – The Avett Brothers
Album – The Second Gleam
Year – 2008
Genre – Modern Folk

I guess we’re coming back to the folk train, guys. That’s Ok, because the Avett Brothers are rising to the top of the new folk frontier in music, and they’re doing it with poise and true, honest songwriting.

This song is the definition of simplicity music wise, with just guitars and vocals, but the repeated guitar line is very pleasing and easy on the ear. It immediately exudes that rustic charm that we like to hear in music. The guitars of Scott and Seth Avett interweave at times and there is some nice piano work that enters at the end of the song for extra layers, but this is really about as bare bones as it gets.

The music is important, but what is being sung by Scott Avett is so much more important. The song’s lyrics discuss how precious life is and to cherish everyone and every moment in life, but when it’s gone, there is no need to mourn. We simply move on to a better place, and those who we love should accept that with an air of peace and grace. The first verse says:

If I get murdered in the city
Don’t go revenging in my name
One person dead from such is plenty
No need to go get locked away

This is profoundly beautiful. The fact that we need to learn to forgive and not seek revenge is a hard one, but one that, according to Avett, keeps a legacy of peace in his memory. Avett sings each verse with a slightly gruff voice that is completely without pretense. His voice is great just because of how truthful and untampered with it really is. It’s a guy singing his true feelings. There is nothing better than that.

The second verse is just as emotional. It deals with a father’s true love for his children, and this hits home for me, as I am very close with my own father. This is really great songwriting right here, and it’s very evident by listening to this verse.

Finally, the last verse is about remembering to love your family and those who love you. It’s important to show how much you love them, because someday both you and them will be gone from this world. As Avett says,

Always remember there was nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name

This song really is a gem from the Avett Brothers. It’s emotional, simple, honest, and beautifully written. This is a song for those quiet moments; a song for reflection. Beauty in simplicity, my friends. Beauty in simplicity.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to like, comment, and follow if you liked the song and review!

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