Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield // Sing Elliott Smith

Category:  Music Reviews
Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 at 8:15 AM
Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield // Sing Elliott Smith by Alex Bieler

Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield

Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith

Ramseur Records

3 stars

It can be hard to change something that’s already great. It’s an issue that Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers fame and the Ohio-based singer-songwriter seemed to encounter when they teamed up to cover a selection of songs by Elliot Smith, a beloved musician who died from self-inflicted wounds in 2003. The unsurprisingly-titled Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliot Smith features the sweet-voiced duo’s take on a dozen of their favorite Smith tracks, which aren’t all that different from the originals. In fact, Sing Elliot Smith is a very appropriate name given that the only real differences in the songs happen to be Avett and Mayfield’s vocal work. The results are awfully pretty and entirely enjoyable, but you’ll likely find yourself yearning for the magic in Smith’s original works instead of these overly loyal recreations. There’s nothing particularly bad about the album – in fact, it’s pretty lovely at times – but it doesn’t really provide anything that essential. – Alex Bieler

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