...annnddd...only two songs?!? Oh well, better than nothing, right?!
"Live And Die" by The Avett Brothers: Those who got on to the Avett Brothers bandwagon in late 2009/early 2010 might not be expecting something so banjo oriented from them for their next big song, since "I And Love And You", "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise", and "Kick Drum Heart" were are centered around the piano. However, those who were familiar with The Avetts from before that will probably take pleasure in the fact that their latest song, "Live And Die", hearkens back to their original, bluegrass-y sound. Therefore, it was an interesting choice on Scott and Seth Avett's part to seek out Rick Rubin, known mostly for producing the records of hard rock groups such as AC/DC, to produce the Avetts' latest record. That being said, I was expecting something a bit rawer sounding from The Avetts this time around, but instead I got a down-home-y, roots-y bluegrass sound. But hey, I'm not complaining! For The Avett Brothers, this is their signature style, and what I like most about their music!
"Mercy" by The Dave Matthews Band: "Mercy" sounds a classic DMB ballad (though not near on the same level as "Crash Into Me" or "Crush"), even though it was just released! In the '00s, DMB were pretty successful at crafting out more rock-sounding songs ("I Did It", "American Baby", and "Why I Am" among them), but until "You And Me" from 2009, their ballads just weren't as good as they were in the '90s. Thankfully, "Mercy" is a refreshing change to this. With its poignant orchestration and powerful message of having hope through hard times, "Mercy" is a song that Dave Matthews and co obviously put a lot of thought and effort into! In its unedited form, "Mercy" is even better, as the band take on their jam-band-with-a-jazz-sound stance with about a minute and a half of saxophones, violins, light drumming, and pianos melting into one dreamy slice of ear candy!