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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