All Ashore, the fifth full-length from acoustic quintet Punch Brothers, is a “nine-song thought,” described by frontman Chris Thile as “a meditation on committed relationships in the present day, particularly in light of the current unsettled political climate.”
Recorded and self-produced in sequence, the album coyly alludes to current anxieties and the elephant in the White House while crafting another gorgeously arranged sound that skirts bluegrass, jazz, pop, classical and even a dash of skat rapping on “The Angel of Doubt.”
Like every Punch Brothers record, it’s forward thinking in its conceptualism and stylistic fusion, while deeply rooted in traditionalism and virtuosity. But more than others, you might accuse it of being just a little boring.
Ryan is a writer, editor and vinyl collector currently based in Los Angeles. He started Mini Music Critic in 2017.