A sea of calm from Punch Brothers on 'All Ashore'

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Wednesday July 18, 2018

From The Boston Globe

A sea of calm from Punch Brothers on ‘All Ashore’
By: Robert Steiner

Social awareness has been a fixture of Punch Brothers’ music ‘” their previous album, 2015’s ‘The Phosphorescent Blues,’ analyzed the struggle of maintaining human connection in the digital age ‘” and ‘All Ashore’ finds them continuing to examine the world with a focused lens. Several of the nine tracks take inspiration from one very specific, if unnamed, subject, and it doesn’t take a news buff to figure out who it probably is. ‘Just Look at This Mess’ discusses a man who ‘lies like the colors of the rainbow,’ while the perky ‘Jumbo’ depicts a dubious character ‘with a knife and a tan’ bent on kicking the ‘elitist bums’ off Capitol Hill. Sound like anyone you know?

[…] The group’s bluegrass-meets-classical arrangements are as breathtaking and upbeat as ever, and the intimate production makes you feel like you’re watching a cozy living-room concert in front of a warm fireplace. An effervescent hopefulness shines through songs like the stunning title track and album closer ‘Like It’s Going Out of Style,’ a love ballad that definitely will be making appearances at folkie weddings everywhere. Even on darker tracks like ‘Look at This Mess,’ Thile reminds the listener in a gentle falsetto, ‘Don’t let him get to you,’ referring to the one causing all the chaos.

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