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Album Review: All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn't Do by The Milk Carton Kids
Very Good, Based on 3 Critics
musicOMH.com - 80 Based on rating 4
Adversity and change have long provided the impetus for country music and since The Milk Carton Kids' last album, Monterey, the duo have gone through a number of life changing events; Joey Ryan welcomed his second child into the world, whilst Kenneth Pattengale overcame cancer and went through the breakup of his seven-year relationship. As a group, The Milk Carton Kids have expanded from a duo to a full band for their latest album, All The Things I Did And All The Things That I Didn’t Do. A wealth of upheaval and experience to draw on should provide a firm basis for a classic album, and The Milk Carton Kids don't disappoint.
In what may sound like a potentially seismic shift in the career of Grammy-nominated acoustic guitar duo the Milk Carton Kids, their fourth album, All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn't Do, not only employs a backing band for the first time, but one numbering up to eight. In another first, they also relinquish a role in producing. It should reassure fans of their earlier work, then, to hear that the album's restrained performances and deliberate arrangements retain the warmth and solemn, reflective tone that have characterized the project thus far, and that distinguish the songwriting here as well.
The traditionalist folk duo the Milk Carton Kids put Stravinsky's adage that limitations set art free to the test. For years, they adhered to the strict parameters they established on their 2011 debut, Prologue: two acoustic guitars, their harmonizing voices, and nothing else. Even after the band began sharing bills with bubblegum folk groups like Mumford & Sons, their music remained thorny and somber.