The Avett Brothers (Scott and Seth, plus bassist Bob Crawford and cellist Joe Kwon) specialize in epic sincerity played on acoustic instruments which means that their major-label debut could have gone spectacularly wrong. Instead, almost everything went right, starting with producer Rick Rubin's decision to grant these 10-year coffeehouse and club veterans some of his bearded wisdom. Rubin stripped the band of its fetish for musical digression and focused almost exclusively on melody. As a result, the Avetts' abundant emotionalism they're tortured about being in love, or not being in love, on nearly every song is scaled down to something far more intimate. On the title track and the mid-tempo ballad "Laundry Room," it's like having a good friend with a honeyed voice whispering in your ear.